Por Diego Nascimento

My work history is filled with chapters that would yield articles and more articles on conduct at work. It is easy to remember a few episodes where self-control and meekness were striking attitudes in stormy scenarios. From age 21 to 23 I received two job promotions: the first one I was appointed coordinator of an important department, and the second I took over as a general manager. This was apparently something simple if it were not for the short time frame and also my age at the time.

You may be thinking that this situation is atypical, but it is not. The arrival of increasingly young leaders in the workplace is a trend on a global scale, and it can knock at our door when we least expect it. In my case I was over people twice my age, and I confess that it was not a simple task. On the other hand, I can say that one constant of my management was harmony, and I attribute this to teamwork and the values of life I have learned throughout my childhood and youth.

Some say that young leadership brings more energy to activities; on the opposite side there is the group that advocates for a more experienced administration and attributes this characteristic to age. I am not here to argue about who should win this arm wrestling match, but I know that entrepreneurship and wisdom are not always linked to a birthdate. This is where the famous Participation Management comes in, which allows the involvement of colleagues in decision-making. In light of this, I want to give five tips for those who lead and those who are led:

• Authoritarian and centralizing actions weaken your interaction with the team. Whether you are young or a more experienced leader, show your willingness to listen to others;

• What we learn in the academic environment serves as a guide to daily professional life, and answers to some problems will not always be in the pages of books or academic articles;

• The leader and follower can be reversed at any time. Be ready to take on both;

• Henry Ford, at the age of 33, had his first car model approved. Senor Abravanel, Silvio Santos, is still a great example of persistence at the age of 85;

• Respect is capable of breaking down barriers. Whichever side you are on (leading or following), understand that there are limits.

It is for a noble purpose that we are in the workplace, and I have no doubt of that. We exist to serve others (at least it should be so). I will close my article with the words of the greatest leader of all time: Christ. I seek to follow His example; after all, every action generates a reaction. Jesus called them and said, “You know that the rulers of the nations dominate them, and important people exercise power over them. It will not be so between you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become important among you must be a slave, and whoever wants to be first must be a slave; for the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. Matthew 20:25-28.

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