How many times have we heard or used the phrase “From the mouths of babes…”? It is usually in the context of some simple, wonderful truth or honest statement spoken by a child. It is an acknowledgment that even the youngest of children can have perceptive, deep insights.
In the business community, then, why is it that my generation of boomers (or older) sometimes think that they have a corner on wisdom or business acumen?
Yes, experience should bring with it wisdom gained from successes and failures, but mere age alone is no guarantee of understanding or wisdom. Neither is being younger an indicator of their absence.
Case in point…
I had the pleasure of spending a few days recently with key people from a company I do business with regularly. Their company began not too many years ago and has been very successfully operated to the present, including an impressive acquisition of their business by a major software company.
Most of the people involved are young – think Facebook startup young. But as I met these people face to face last week, I had to marvel at how accomplished, knowledgeable and insightful they are, all while still being in their 20s or – at the oldest – in their 30s. The one “older” lady (still younger than me) described herself as the mother hen to her cute little chicks.
If I am to go into a business battle in matters related to the line of business these people deal with every day, who do you think I want on the front lines? It isn’t many people my age or older that I would choose to lead the charge. I would want these creative, intelligent, driven young men and women who have a vision for the future and are doing what it takes to shape that future.
I loved doing college ministry at my church for many years because I was energized by being around and interacting with the students. I guess in business, I’m still energized by the presence, creativity and can-do attitude of those much younger than myself.
Leap year lesson #242 is – Wisdom knows no upper or lower age limit.