Hello SOTGC community,
I am sitting at a bar with some friends before we all head home for a much-deserved weekend. We are all in our mid 20’s/early 30’s and my one friend starts to explain how thankful and excited she is that she is the Director of Marketing at a Country Club but if she would have been the hiring manager she would have not given herself a chance.
I let that statement process itself for a while before I said, “So, in other words, you, as a hiring manager, would have not hired a 20-something-year-old simply because they don’t have the experience?” Whoa – this statement was quite loaded. I mean, everybody was once young and inexperienced, and, somehow, somebody took a chance on them. So why is it that my friend would have said something like this, and is this a reoccurring theme?
Within the next few weeks, I would observe exactly just that in different ways. What a breaking news story it is that somebody became the director of a company at the tender age of 39 years. There is an outrage …. Think about this statement for a while. The only reason why this is a breaking news story is not because of the experience the person is bringing with them or maybe the competency they have gained over the years, but the sheer fact that somebody “appears” to be young and a CEO, and that is unheard of!!
The unfortunate thing is that the two stories have something in common – there is still a perception in the world that younger voices could not possibly have anything smart to say, and, if they do, they are way off track and it is not doable. Too many times have I seen great talent be right about something but their ideas were squashed or dismissed. But why is it that we put more value to somebody that has a PhD or holds a senior management position before we listen to them? Steve Jobs was in his 20’s when he had a vision that he started executing on. Lots of people would have told him he was a fool to even think that he may be on to something big and that Apple would become today the number one sold brand in the world. If he had stopped at the first door that closed, where would our love for Apple be today? He once famously said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And, most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”
The moral from this story is to listen to people no matter what their experience or age is. The old saying of “with age comes wisdom” may be true to an extent but some people have the right vision to get us there quicker. New perspectives are born that challenge the status quo, so I say, why not let them speak?
The reason I like the “Voice” so much is because it gives each talent a fair chance based on their voice they bring forward and not on their age or how attractive they are.
So let’s start a new wave: Next time we are in a meeting with somebody that may be younger or less experienced than ourselves, let’s give him or her the floor to speak and we might discover a new way of doing business. If we don’t invest in our next generations and start fostering their thinking and mission in life, then we might risk discovering what else this world has in store for us. If this post resonated with you, please share on your social media networks.