Are adults the present, if children are our future!
Business, life, politics, we are always planning ahead, so much so that sometimes we neglect the very real present.
We attach such importance to age that news articles rarely neglect to mention the chronological number of the star of the story.
People are “too young” or “too old”. When are we like the porridge in Goldilocks “Just right”? I am not sure if we ever are.
We have bought into the idea that if you haven’t achieved certain career objectives by 35 or 40, you never will, success has passed you by. And guess what? Hirers often buy into that, making the move into executive roles for the first time at 50 or 55 almost impossible.
A disadvantage to women (and men) who decide that work and family during their child rearing years need to be more integrated and less career driven.
Just over 15 years ago, I was advertising a management role. An extremely bright young man in the department came to me with an application for the position. He was 23. I must have looked (or sounded) a bit doubtful. He sat back in his chair, and asked “If I was 33, would you give me the job?” He got the promotion! And has made me proud of his many successes ever since…
Political careers have a very different trajectory, with people well past business retirement age standing for senior office. What is the difference?
At my previous company, our Chairman of the Board was in his 90s, still making a significant contribution.
My message? If you can, create a good balance along the age spectrum. Don’t take it for granted that your older staff are no longer creative, and equally, don’t fall into the trap that deep experience is required for leadership roles.
Age is a guideline that allows actuaries to make excellent predictions, but it is not an absolute rule.
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