Establishing Credibility as a Young Executive
As if the <30 year old Executives of today’s world don’t face enough challenges…finances, supply/demand, competition, etc. in their quest to succeed as business owners, we deal with an even larger problem; the quick-to-judgement, twice-as-old-as-us Executives we are either trying to sell or work with. Let’s face it…today’s youth, as a whole, is not impressing the prior generations, and before passing a personal judgement, everybody subconsciously creates stereotypes.
Credibility, in a business sense, is one of the most important things an Executive of any age needs to immediately establish. If you are an online retailer, your credibility is made or lost nearly immediately. Proper website optimization can ensure it is achieved. On the flip side, if you network in person, your personal presentation is that which establishes your credibility, and how one carries themselves is vital. This blog will detail the various tactics I use to establish credibility with people twice my age, and keep them coming to me asking for advice.
1) Look people directly in the eyes – This may seem so simple, but subconsciously every human interaction is a battle, and an “alpha” and “beta” will be achieved. It is absolutely vital to maintain eye contact; looking down or away is symbolic of inferiority, a trait you can not afford to display.
2) Create your identity and stick to it – I walk around my office in shorts and a t-shirt at least 4 out of 5 days weekly, and at a bare minimum a harmless comment is made once a week. My initial instinct, just starting out, was do I need to conform? Should I start wearing suits again? NO! I know I am an expert in what I do, and my clients do too. People refer my Agency to their friends because of the work we produce; not the way I can tie a tie. The identity I have created for myself is a very casual one, but my execution is what speaks for itself. Don’t feel the need to conform to white-collar standards. Be different.
3) Be outspoken at any opportunity – Nobody wonders what is on my mind. I speak it very clearly, and I have no problem being the only person in a room that has an opposing view. I am frequently engaged in conversations with Executives much older than myself regarding digital marketing & sales, and this is my sweetspot. If I disagree with what is being said, I (politely of course) let them know. There are a million people out there telling these people Yes, Yes, Yes. If you do as well, you’re just another fish in the pond. Don’t be afraid to tell someone when you think they are wrong. Just be prepared to detail why.
4) Guarantee Your Reliability – The world is full of people that say they’ll deliver and don’t. DO NOT EVER be one of them. You’re under a much more magnified microscope. Deliver exactly what you promise or more, and do it every single time.