We’ve all been there. A young leader, full of hope, passion, and idealism, who all they want to do is change the world. Then with the full force that only a young leader can muster, runs face-first right into a brick wall.
The young leader becomes humbled. Bloodied. Bruised. Battered. But lessons are learned. Wisdom is gained. And the resilient leader gets up, dusts him or herself off, and lives to lead another day.
That was my story….and probably yours too. What if it was possible to learn life’s lessons without unnecessary failure? It can be. We can learn from the leaders who have come before us.
Take the story of Julian Edelman, for instance.
If you look at the NFL’s top 10 leaders in receptions this year, you will find sandwiched between superstars Andre Johnson (#1), Antonio Brown (#2), Brandon Marshall (#4), A.J. Green (#5), Calvin Johnson (#7), Jimmy Graham (#9), and Demaryius Thomas (#10) as the sixth-ranked receiver in football is New England wideout Juliun Edelman.
Edelman’s story, as recounted by Peter King here, is a fascinating journey all young leaders can learn from. The following are 8 Practices Of Young Leaders Who Make A Huge Impact we take from Edelman’s career.
- Young Leaders Who Make A Huge Impact Are Often Overlooked – Edelman, who played quarterback at tiny Kent State University, was 232nd player taken in the 2009 NFL Draft.
- Young Leaders Who Make A Huge Impact Can Do Many Things – Edelman says, “The more you can do, the more valuable you make yourself to a team.”
- Young Leaders Who Make A Huge Impact Are Low Maintenance – Edelman began by “put(ting) my head down, (and) worked my tail off.”
- Young Leaders Who Make A Huge Impact Learn From Respected Veterans – Edelman goes on, “You watch Tom Brady and learn how to be a professional.”
- Young Leaders Who Make A Huge Impact Will Take On Any Task To Help The Organization – He continues, “Punt-returning, kick-returning, playing defense, whatever the coaches ask you to do. Blocking a kick. When you’re younger and you’re a seventh-round draft pick, a rookie, you basically do everything you can.”
- Young Leaders Who Make A Huge Impact Outwork Others – The competition amongst young leaders is fierce. Edelman impressed his coaches by his work ethic. He noted, “Everyone’s fighting for a job. Any time a coach needed a guy up, you had to go sprint up there and try to deal with it.”
- Young Leaders Who Make A Huge Impact Are Continual Learners – “You saw a lot of guys, Wes Welker in the huddle, Joey Galloway, Randy Moss, even though they’re different body types, they’re such smart receivers. You could always take something away from everyone. When you’re green, you grow; when you’re ripe, you rot. You gotta constantly learn.”
- Young Leaders Who Make A Huge Impact Are Wanted By Everyone – Edelman is a free agent after this season. Teams are already lining up to secure his services. King summed it up well when he wrote, “Edelman has become a Tom Brady go-to guy. This is a guy you want on your team, a winning player.”
Are you the type of leader people want on their team? Learn from these 8 Practices and you surely will be. What additional qualities do you look for in young leaders?
To subscribe to this site and get my latest FREE eBook 649 Leadership Quotes: Timeless Truths From The 2013 Passion, Exponential, Orange, Chick-Fil-A Leadercast Conferences click here or on the image to the left.