top of page

What Young Leaders Get To Do and What They Must Do

The things we get to do are most often the ones we prioritize. Whereas the things we must do are sometimes the harder tasks that we procrastinate doing.

Over the course of the last several years I have had the opportunity to lead multiple teams of very different geographies, people, and areas of focus – but all with one mission: to serve our customers, be successful in meeting our goals and being our best every day.

Being a young leader in today’s workplace does come with challenges as you lack years of experience compared to some of your peers. It is so vitally important to constantly have the mindset of being a sponge in every situation as you tackle the duties and responsibilities that come your way.

I was personally able to gain a strong foundational knowledge of leadership early on as a college intern working alongside Dave as he facilitated workshops for leaders in our community through his courses around competence and character. In his book - Becoming a Leader of Character - one of the core concepts he dives into is what the Duty of a leader is.

Upon reflecting on this concept, one thing I have learned in my short time as a people leader is there are things we get to do and things we must do as our Duty in leadership.

The things we get to do are most often the ones we prioritize first, enjoy the most, and put at the front of our to-do list. Whereas the things we must do are sometimes the harder tasks that we procrastinate and over analyze.

For the things we get to do, I think of the comparison of running. In elementary school we were forced to run a timed mile for evaluations of health for whatever reason (in third grade I thought this was a death sentence). Now as an adult, I enjoy running long distance races and have completed several marathons and various distance triathlons. I don’t see it as a must do - mandatory objective – rather as an opportunity to better myself and enjoy the outdoors.

In leadership, there are many things we get to do that might very well be a big part of the reason we sought the job opportunity itself in the first place. These tasks are also part of our Duty as leaders, but we might not necessarily view them that way because we enjoy them. In my role, the enjoyable tasks - get to do tasks - are what truly takes up the majority of my day. And that’s how it should be – if we see our roles as a constant need to ‘check a box’ - must do tasks - then we are not in the right place.

Duty: Taking aciton based on my assigned tasks and my moral obligations.

One specific example that I have thought deeply about over the last few years of leading people is the Duty I have as a coach to always make sure my team is growing and getting better – that is the moral obligation of a leader.

However, this sometimes comes with the challenge of delivering difficult feedback and coaching in a candid, caring, and honest way that may not always be wanted from the recipient. This must do is not always easy. But at the end of the day, if I am not upholding my end of the bargain as a leader and making others better, then I would be letting my team down. In the same way, I expect my leader to do the same for me – even if I don’t want to hear it or the feedback might be difficult. That is their Duty to help me be the best I can be.

There may be moments where you question your ability to handle certain tasks or situations, and you must remind yourself that you were chosen and placed in the role for a reason. Someone believed in you and saw the potential for you to do great things.

Once in that role, doing both the things we get to do and also the things we must do means we are doing our Duty. That is the path we all must travel as young leaders to become the leaders other people will want to follow.

Wow! I (Dave) love how Carly sees her role as a young leader. Too many leaders, who have much more experience, avoid the harder aspects of their jobs like delivering difficult feedback to those they are called to lead. But Carly sets and example for all of us no matter our age or experience level. She understands that our Duty involves both the things we like (get to’s) and the things that are not always enjoyable (must do’s).

Carly Stephens is a rising star in the business world. She one awards early in her career that set her up to be promoted to lead multiple sales team. I was blessed to work with her and recognized she was someone who I would have hired in a heartbeat as a sales leader myself.

To learn more about Carly click here:


Here is a quick assessment that will take you 5 minutes to figure it out. Nobody will ever see your results but you.

Warning: If you are not going to be honest with yourself this is a worthless assessment.

To take the assessment use the QR code above or go to

106 views0 comments


bottom of page