Advice to 25-year-old self: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Too many young people are more concerned about what other people think of them, especially in today’s day and age. If I could go back, I would just try more things and try not to overthink. I’m not saying being risky, I’m saying try it and just be more aggressive at trying things. If you’re doing the right thing, it doesn’t matter what other people think.
When I was younger, I probably would have been a better leader if I realized it’s about the people side of it and not the tactical side. As a technical guy, I thought I had to be the one with all the technical answers to help people, but by helping people more, they discover more of the solutions. You don’t have to have all the answers. As a young guy, I thought that way, and now I realize I’m probably the least smart person in the room most of the time. Leadership is about bringing the people together that have the knowledge.
Some people ask: ‘How do you get into leadership?’ You just start. You don’t have to have a title of a leader. You can start by stepping up and getting other people’s thoughts when deciding what a group is going to do. People naturally gravitate towards the person that does that. Just be the one that starts.
You have to become secure in who you are, and in what you are. Show your true self and don’t think you have to be this or you should do that. There’s an insecurity you have to grow out of and understand you don’t have to have the answer. If they see you don’t know the answer but you’re either trying to make it up or cover up that you don’t know, it’s toxic. Just be honest. Admit you don’t know, and work with your team to figure it out.
Quote to Note:“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather the wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery