How does it feel to become obsolete at the age of 50? or 40? Some of us, even before turning the big 4-0, feel we’re losing track and can’t keep up anymore. It seems the world is going mental, and things are changing every second! We thought we’ve mastered the use of the Fax machine, and learned to put the page the right-side-up, then the email came along. We used to check our emails once a week, and that was ok. Now we’re expected to respond to emails within minutes of receiving them, on our phones.
Looking back…. hang on! Linkedin has been around for 12 years. Yep! TWELVE years! Over 400,000,000 people are using it everyday, as part of their daily, business lives. Governments have fallen over a tweet and a #hashtag, and people are arrested daily because of their Facebook / Instagram photos. Conference calls are done over Skype, and email has been replaced by WhatsApp. Yet many CEO’s have their head in the sand, and hoping this is all a fad… If we ignore it for long enough, we can retire and won’t need any of that.
Wakey-wakey! You’re not retiring any time soon, and the technology (including social media) is an integral part of our lives. Both business and family. Our kids taking pics (yes, PICS!) of us and posting on Instagram, and so are our employees. We may be old, but already have an online presence, whether we know about it or not, managing it, or not.
And now, to business:
Language has changed. People talk funny (via a mobile device, naturally!). We’re expected to get ‘with it’, and understand that new language. Why? Because if we don’t, we can’t lead. period. Leadership doesn’t come as a result of a title. We need to earn our leadership position with any new employee, new colleague, and customer. Or else – we become obsolete. And when that happens, they’ll go somewhere else.
Skill Shortage? Nope. There’s a need for a better work/life balance; more flexibility is required, higher living expenses requires re-inventing job models, and additional income streams. You know, of the concept of “job security” – doesn’t exist anymore. So the reverse is also happening – no loyalty to the workplace. It’s that simple!
The next generation (Y,Z, and whatever will come next) are different people. They are the new hippies, with ideals, looking for collaboration, transparency, and being a CEO at 22. Ok: “tell ’em they’re dreaming”, but on the other hand, you need working hands, don’t you? You need them as customers & suppliers, don’t you?
So what’s the solution? I thought you’d never ask! let’s call it LOL!
- Learn the language. It’s Rome – behave like the Romans.
- Open up – get down from the proverbial ivory tower, and talk to those youngsters. They may not have your experience, but they sure can teach you a thing or two.
- Listen up – things are going in a certain direction. Get your head out of the sand, and pay close attention to trends. You’d need to be able to respond to them.
Sounds scary, I know. As an experienced executive myself, in my mid-40’s, I understand those fears. But I’ve been through those changes, and embraced it. I can help you too.
Having a supportive environment and someone who can guide you through those changes, will prove very helpful, and less threatening.
My mentorship style is as informal as this page. We don’t have to be locked up, and agree on agendas, and KPI’s. What we have to do, is open up, observe, and talk about what we’re noticing. Then we can make plans to keep up, and fit in.
Tweet me, and let’s get started 🙂