In the next few years, Millennials will begin moving into more significant leadership roles within companies and organizations. But are we ready for it?

A few weeks ago, I ran across this article from Forbes that highlighted the leadership transition that Millennials are beginning to make. Here’s one of the most interesting lessons from the article: Millennials know they aren’t ready for leadership, but we want it anyway.

While I can admire our ambition as a generation to climb the ladder of leadership, it can also be a little concerning. We need to realize that becoming an effective leader doesn’t just happen. If we want to become a generation of great leaders, there are certain ideas we need to embrace today in order to experience success in the future.

Ladder of Leadership

3 Reminders for Millennials Before We Climb The Ladder of Leadership

Here are three reminders that will help Millennials lay a solid foundation as we begin to move higher and higher up the ladder of leadership:

1 – Embrace the bottom

Millennials are known for our drive and ambition. However, we’ve also grown up in a world where you can fill any need in an instant. Many Millennials are frustrated because we haven’t reached a certain leadership level by the time we’re 30 or experienced the same kind of early career success our parents saw.

However, we must remember that success without time to grow into it often leads to ruin (just look at today’s young celebrities as an example). Instead of being discouraged that we haven’t been given the opportunity to lead, we must learn how to embrace our time at the bottom, and take advantage of every opportunity to learn, to grown, and to mature.

2 – Enjoy the process of “growing into leadership”

There are no shortcuts to anyplace worth going. The challenges and frustrations we’re experiencing today might not be easy, but they are helping us grow toward becoming better leaders in the future.

I recently finished John Maxwell’s “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth.” In the chapter, The Law of the Rubber Band, he explains that the effectiveness of a leader is only as great as their ability to stretch themselves.

Many Millennials are living in a season of life where we’re being constantly stretched and challenged to do more. It can be painful. However, when we lean into a process of growth with everything we have, it causes us to grow in ways we never thought were possible.

3 – Remember who built the ladder

There’s one thing Millennials should remember as we begin to climb the ladder and take one more responsibility… each rung was built by someone who came before us.

Sir Isaac Newton was one of the most influential scientists in the history of the world. However, even he recognized that the things he was able to accomplish weren’t achieved by his merit alone. Here’s what Newton said in one of his letters to a friend:

“If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.”

–          Sir Isaac Newton

As we begin to climb the ladder of leadership, we can’t forget about the men and women who helped build it. The best way to overcome some of the challenges between our generation and those currently in leadership is to value their contribution to the leadership ladder we will climb.