Being a leader at a young age is not easy, especially when you are having older people as your subordinates. Then, how should you treat them? (Image via Entrepreneur)
Young leaders, how you should treat your older subordinates?Nowadays, youngsters began to show their potencies as leaders. Recently, a woman, called Risa Santoso, was appointed as a rector. Aged 27 years old, Risa became the youngest rector in a university. The biggest was when Indonesia appointed former CEO of GoJek, Nadiem Makarim, as the new Minister of Education and Culture. Aged 35 years old, Nadiem became the youngest minister in the cabinet.
However, as the young leaders popped out, new problems also emerged. As a young leader, more often than not we are faced with subordinates much older than us. Then, how should we treat them?
Once speaking about the pressure that Nadiem has to face being the youngest minister, Rena Masri, psychologist, stated that it is good that the President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, generally known as Jokowi, had appointed young professionals as ministers. For Masri, young ministers promise agility, creative and quick thinking; hence, they can hail positive change in spite of the mass efforts.
However, to control our equal or junior subordinates is already difficult. How about leading those older than us? Masri said that starting from 25 years old, someone can be considered as an adult psychologically. Therefore, the most important thing is to determine their maturity.
There are people aged 40 or above whose maturity is not that ripe, and vice versa. As a leader, we need to understand the psychological growth of these people.
Masri said that while we respect them as a senior, we need to guide them under rules and objectives set beforehand. Since they had seen enough, as leaders, we can learn from and listen to their experiences.
Differentiate between being respectful and being afraid of the seniors. We may respect them as our seniors, but never let respect turn the table over us. Masri said that we need to show our quality as a leader to build solid teamwork.
To gain respect from our seniors, we need to establish our role as a leader by setting objectives and rules for the division to walk on. With this, there is no distance between us and our older subordinates.
In brief, we can actually learn from our older subordinates about how to do this and do that. However, do not let ourselves be controlled by your subordinates. Instead, establish our place as a leader and lead our team through solid teamwork.