By Ashley P. Holmes
Marketing Task Force, Young Professionals Network
Associate, Vandeventer Black LLP
If you had a chance to speak to your younger self as you were just starting out in the professional world, what would you say? What advice would you give?
Chamber CEO Tim Giuliani considered this hypothetical last week in a talk before the Chamber’s Young Professionals Network. YPN—or #RaleighYPN, as it’s known on social media—is one of the Chamber’s most successful groups, and it enjoys a large and active membership. A benefit of YPN membership is free attendance at the group’s “Learning from Leaders” forums, which are educational panels held every other month to provide YPN members opportunities to learn from and engage with accomplished business professionals.
At the Jan. 21 installment of the Learning from Leaders series, Giuliani presented “7 Lessons For My Younger Self,” in which the he discussed lessons he had learned from his experiences as a young professional.
Giuliani’s seven lessons are:
#1: You can change the world
#2: Perseverance and passion: the difference between good and great leaders
#3: Get ahead to stay on top
#4: Focus on the important, not always the urgent
#5: Choose your mentors wisely
#6: The whole cloth approach to professional development
#7: Great leaders learn from failures
In his talk, Giuliani emphasized that the best leaders are those who operate with healthy amounts of passion and perseverance. Noting that they already had the opportunity to lead in their communities, Giuliani advised YPN members to seek out and observe excellent leaders rather than rely on academic definitions of leadership.
Giuliani stressed the importance of finding balance early in one’s career, as we generally face increasing responsibilities in our professional and personal lives as we age and the young professional who has already established healthy habits and routines can typically handle this uptick in responsibilities better than the young professional who never takes the time to establish work-life balance. Giuliani—who took over the reins of the Raleigh Chamber at the age of 33—also urged YPN members to remember that, even though they are young, competence is an effective weapon to counter the negative “millennial” stereotypes older workers might hold against younger professionals.
Giuliani made several book recommendations during his presentation as well, including “21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” by John Maxwell and “The Fifth Discipline” by Peter Senge.
The reception to Giuliani’s presentation was extremely positive among YPN members, as evidenced by the discussion on Twitter during the presentation and the fact that #RaleighYPN trended on Twitter during Giuliani’s speech.
The full text of Giuliani’s speech can be found here. Visit YPN’s Facebook page to learn more about the group.