Young People Aren't Slackers: Here's How to Prove It

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Young leaders: It's time to slay the myth that you are a slacker with these 7 key habits.

We’ve been talking about young leaders this week. We started with three secrets for young leaders and then reflected on why it’s essential to get young leaders into your organization now.

So what about the reputation millennials have for being slackers?

It’s fairly pervasive. Do a quick google search for the phrase “millennials are …” and the autocomplete adds “lazy.” Burn.

Want to banish that label for good as a young leader? Great. Me too!

Here are seven habits that can help you do that. Some of these I learned myself when I was in my 20s. Some I’ve learned from other leaders:

1. Show up early.

Don’t just show up on time. Show up early.

Leave extra time for traffic. Walk into the meeting early if you can, and at all times use the extra time before you walk in to compose yourself and get ready for what’s ahead.

Showing up early is a great practice on almost every level.

2. Show up prepared.

Whether it’s just a day in the office, a critical meeting or a lunch, pre-think what’s going to happen.

Show up with your head in the game. Have your homework completed, digested. Have all the tools you need with you ready to go (charged laptop or tablet, meeting notes, handouts—whatever you need.)

Showing up prepared shows you value others’ time.

3. Develop a system for capturing to-dos with 100 percent accuracy.

When you’re the low person on the org chart, you’re probably going to get a lot of “follow-ups.”

It’s critical you develop a system for capturing to-dos, follow-ups and notes. Currently, I use Things by Culture Code across all my devices. Regardless of what you use, the system is key. Only 8-year-olds have a simple enough life to keep it all straight in their heads.

You need a system you can rely on all day every day no matter what.

Carey Nieuwhof Carey Nieuwhof is Lead Pastor of Connexus Church north of Toronto, Canada, blogs at and is host of The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast available for free on iTunes.

More from Carey Nieuwhof or visit Carey at

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