We believe it’s important to encourage our community, no matter their age, to lead with courage in the face of uncertainty. With this belief in mind, our four interns spent part of the summer designing and hosting their own version of a Courageous Minds Only Chat for students, interns, and young professionals — the next generation of courageous minds. Continue reading for takeaways from the panel discussion that are relevant to anyone and everyone!
Bold conversations, vulnerable moments, and insightful pieces of advice were shared among a community of students, interns, and young professionals at our latest Courageous Minds Only Chat: Next Gen. As individuals navigating the challenges that accompany new beginnings and an uncertain path forward, it was valuable to have a space where we could lean on each other for advice and inspiration.
During the panel discussion, Kiaya Carter, Courtney Henderson, Myles Edwards, and Madeline Yurkoski offered actionable strategies on how to reframe uncertainty as an opportunity to think and act bolder. From combatting uncomfortability to rooting yourself in personal values, the following tactics are the ones that received the most head nods from the audience.
Use Courage to Combat Uncomfortability
The uncomfortability that often accompanies something new and uncertain, like studying abroad, graduating college, or changing careers, can be overcome with courage. Pushing yourself to learn something new every day or embrace uncomfortable situations will eventually make the new and uncertain feel familiar.
Discover Your Strengths
Take time to make a list of the unique skills that you bring to the table so you can put yourself in a position to be truly impactful on a team, organization, or greater community. If you don’t know exactly what your unique skills are, check out EQ tests and Strengthsfinder. Discovering your strengths allows you to develop the skills you are naturally gifted in and work towards mastery.
Be a Student of Your Environment
No matter your circumstances or experience level, it’s important to remain a lifelong learner. Make sure to always listen and stay humble enough to ask questions and admit when you don’t understand something. Especially when you’re in a new environment or position, embracing a learning mindset will allow you to gain an understanding of where people are coming from, what has been done before, and get context on why current processes are in place.
Seek Diversity of Thought
Look for and lean into the ideas that challenge how you think. Embracing diversity of thought allows you to view ideas from multiple perspectives and build off the ideas of others. When you’re faced with an opinion that challenges your way of thinking, be open to engaging and asking questions to better understand their perspective.
Lean into Mentorship
A mentor can provide value in many ways, including giving you perspective and guidance on how to navigate uncertainty. Mentorship is a powerful cycle, so if you can, find a mentor for yourself and serve as a mentor for someone else — invest in others the same way others have invested in you.
Build a Personal Board of Directors
Surround yourself with a group of people who hold you accountable, give you feedback, and help you recognize opportunity areas to grow.
Root yourself in Personal Values
It’s important to recognize what you need in a work environment since you’ll probably spend more time there than anywhere else. Write down everything you need in a space based off your core values (think about the physical setup, group collaboration, job benefits, etc.) and stick to that list. Finding an environment that meets your criteria will make long days at the office a more positive experience.
Reading about strategies to lead with courage in the face of uncertainty is valuable, but in order to actually drive growth in your life, team, or community, you have to start making changes, big or small. Which strategy will you implement today to help you think and act bolder?
Thank you to Kiaya, Courtney, Myles, and Madeline for leading a powerful conversation, as well as to all of the students, interns, and young professionals who showed up to learn how to be better leaders! You epitomize the next generation of courageous minds.