Young leaders often feel behind the curve.

Every meeting they attend, every team they lead, every trip they plan…they’re the youngest and least experienced.  And, in my case, I’ve been in the room where everybody present had children older than me.

I can’t tell you how many looks I was flashed that said, “How cute…he’s trying to lead us…isn’t that neat?!?” As a leader, that’s frustrating.

When I started in my current role, I was the youngest on staff.

When I started in my current role, I was the younger than every one of the small group leaders at Grace.

But over time, I’ve been able to grow some level of influence.  And here’s one principle I’ve learned:

Be faithful in the little things.

If I was given a task, even if it didn’t directly relate to my area of leadership, I worked to make sure I completed the task well.  Not just half-heartedly, but with excellence.

If I took on a new responsibility, I made sure that I was 100% faithful, to the best of my abilities and even more so, to exceed expectations.

And this principle is biblical:

One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much… – Luke 16:10

It’s the little things, the smaller responsibilities, that are the greatest test of character, not the bigger ones.  Letting the ball drop on the “little things” is a symptom of a heart that’s not ready for bigger, weightier things.

If you’re given smaller, less significant assignments and you fail to meet and exceed expectations, why would those who are in leadership over you trust you to meet and exceed expectations in more significant roles?

The insignificant tasks you take on early in leadership may be just that…insignificant.  Except for one thing: they show your character.  And if you want to gain influence, character (even more than age and experience) is key.

A certain level of trust must be granted to you because you’re young.  But a deeper, more substantial level of trust, the one you’re looking for, is earned.

Trust is earned one faithful step at a time.

Be faithful in the small steps.  It’ll pay off in time.

Have you ever dropped the ball on a small responsibility?

Did you see that affect your influence?