Why Even Seasoned Leaders Should Embrace Their Junior Status

I have had the honor to welcome a few juniors to work with me, and my o my have blown me away in so many ways. The enthusiasm and the hunger for learning are addictive to even follow, and sometimes, a bit too seasoned leader can only learn and adapt. I have seen growth that I haven’t even dared to dream and responsibility and ownership I haven’t seen even with more seniors. I have seen passion and burning fire.

Unlocking the Power of Curiosity

Adopting a beginner’s mind is a powerful tool. By approaching each project with curiosity and a willingness to learn, we open ourselves up to new possibilities. Embracing our inner junior allows us to shed preconceived notions, break free from routine, and challenge ourselves to explore uncharted territories. This mindset encourages fresh perspectives, fostering innovation and creativity in our work, but it can also feel like you’re giving up control, the status, and everything you know. So why should I admit that I am junior at something?

The Value of Recognizing Our Junior Status

I can’t stop complimenting the people I work with. They are brilliant and knowledgeable in many ways, and they have an incredible ability and willingness to share their knowledge with their colleagues. It’s not once or twice that I have been sitting next to one of my colleagues being mentored and instructed in a subject that I don’t know anything about.
When it happened for the first time, I thought I would look incompetent as a leader. After a few rounds and some soul-searching, I realized only thing I looked was human (and buzzled). Recognizing that everyone is a junior at something cultivates a sense of empathy within us. Understanding that we all have areas where we are beginners enables us to connect with others on a deeper level. It promotes collaboration, as we appreciate the value each individual brings to the table. We create an environment that encourages open communication, shared learning, and mutual growth by embracing our collective junior status.

From Setbacks To Growth Opportunities

Failure is an inevitable part of every journey. We could shift our perspective on failure and recognize its transformative potential! Embracing failure, celebrating and sharing our F#%c-Ups, and using those as a stepping stone rather than a roadblock allows us to learn from our mistakes, refine our skills, and progress as human beings and specialists at work. When we acknowledge that depending on the situation and subject, we are all transferred between being juniors and mastering, we become more resilient in the face of setbacks.

Empowering Colleagues to Unleash Their Potential

I was preaching about lifelong leadership learning and personal growth in an earlier post. Why Cultivating Leadership Skills is a Continuous Process?
Recognizing our levels of expertise means we will never run out of a list of possible new skills and knowledge we could learn. It enables us to remain adaptable, versatile and engaged with the ever-evolving creative landscape.
Nothing is more rewarding than getting a request to coach or mentor on something that you consider your strength. But knowing you’ve earned the request by recognizing the requesters’ priceless strengths is an even better reward. Through authenticity, we empower colleagues at work and others outside work to take risks, step outside their comfort zones, and unleash their full potential.

Liberating Ourselves from Perfectionism

As a leader, I appreciate the profound significance of recognizing that everyone is a junior at something. You can hide or embrace it and let it foster a spirit of curiosity, empathy, and growth. Think about how being junior could liberate us from the constraints of perfectionism. It invites us to fully immerse ourselves in the joy of learning.

So, let us celebrate our collective junior status and embark on a journey that knows no boundaries.