This is a short note on what it takes to be great. Having worked in over 8 industries directly and indirectly, a millennial in true form; wanting to make an impact, make a difference and make things happen. Greatness however, is something that isn’t based on these three things a lot of millennials strive for. It is the little steps one takes on a daily basis, the menial tasks that we face and our response to irreverent interactions with people we might not like or are uncomfortable with. The fact that you can manage to achieve the three initial things (impact, difference, things happening) whilst doing through the subsequent three, means something.
It is not easy trying to translate whatever qualifications/talent you have for the workplace, in some instances or professions; one’s transition from student to professional is seamless, think coder/programmer, journalist, artist. To a certain extent, the learning environment contributes largely to this gap between tertiary and industry, but certain skills are needed for one to be good at what they do. This requires knowledge (keeping up to date with what is happening in your industry), emotional intelligence and consistently learning (building yourself). This should, in the least make you good at what you do.
Being good at what you do is nice, given the rewards, the fact that you’re happy and are possibly at a point of comfort. However, being great, I have observed requires a little more than just achieving. It requires one to give back, be it through teaching others, community work or building a great team. This is the point where one becomes a leader. Investing in other people is one of the most understated aspects of leadership and what ultimately makes one a great person.
If you believe you have surpassed the stages of expertise, management or great work; find someone to mentor, support and invest in, you’ll be surprised at how greatness is in the most unexpected of areas and that it’s available to any one at any time in their lives. Importantly, if you believe you can be great now…. Go ahead, you’ll be beyond your years in the journey of leadership!