I just returned home from a very restorative trip. Spouse and kid went to the in-laws’ beach house (affectionately called the
One of my little pleasures while traveling is the USA Today newspaper sitting outside my hotel room door each morning. The color photos, the clean layout, brief and digestible articles, and the sections called “Life” and “Tech” and "Travel" makes for an enjoyable read. And on Wednesday there was a section of an article that has stayed with me for quite a while.
The article is called “Does Age Matter When You’re CEO?” and examines (I don’t know if USA Today actually examines, but the article does describe) how young is too young and how old is too old to run a company. The article asks, are our best days in front of or behind us?
Snips of the article include:
There are some CEOs running major companies in their 40s and 70s, and those interviewed say that age has little to do with success and leadership. What matters far more is whether executives see the heart of their career and accomplishments ahead of them or behind.
Age is a wild card as headhunters and corporate boards ponder trade-offs such as energy vs. wisdom. An experienced CEO might help a company avoid repeating mistakes, but the flexibility of youth might be important in an environment of quick adjustments.
Experience is not about having more answers. It’s about asking the right questions.
I don’t think you get smarter, but you get wisdom. Everything is not an existential crisis. When you get older, you separate out what is really a crisis from an average problem.
Character and courage are more important than age. If you’re a young weasel, you’ll be an old weasel.
I wonder… Is the heart of your career and accomplishments ahead of or behind you? What’s the trade-off you make in your relationship/team when it comes to energy vs. wisdom? Which do you value more? If experience is not about having more answers but asking the right questions, what are the questions you are asking? What do you know about crisis and separating crisis from average problems? If character and courage are more important than age, what else is?