It's never too late or too early to start making a bigger impact. You are always in the process of emerging from where you've been to where you are going. What great new contribution is in your future? What can you learn from someone older or younger than you? Reinvent yourself and stay vital just like Mick.
I have two millennial kids. They grew up listening to personal growth tapes on long road trips. In addition to being my preferred way to scar their young psyches, I also want them to have the self-confidence to challenge things they think are bullshit. Neither of them are afraid to call me on mine. In fact I have gotten numerous key pieces of feedback that have helped me steel my character for the personal and business growth challenges I faced in middle age. The are smart, as they are equipped with state-of-the-art cultural tools and savvy, being all woke and shit, but they have wisdom "beyond their years". They are both well-travelled and have seen a lot more of the world than I have.
Entrepreneurial millennials defy the stereotypes.
Millennials are taking over the workplace just as their enormous cohort is shaping politics and the economy in general, so naturally I've been coaching more and more of them. None of them seem to be poster children for the stereotypes of the lazy and entitled. They are razor sharp, highly intelligent and full of initiative and ambition. It's true they don't know everything, but my group of millennials has quite a degree of humility about that.
According to research conducted by the dude in the video below (and he is super smart and worth listening to), younger entrepreneurs in their 20s and 30 create more successful ventures, but, and this is a big but, people in their 50s have twice the probability of successfully exiting from a business. What's going on here? He thinks its a matter that the elder generation at some point just gives up starting anything new. It's like the older generation has gotten...wait for it...lazy and entitled. Is it any wonder people from my generation project their own blindspots on the next big wave?
(This TED talk is worth the 16 minutes to view; he's done a good job of summarizing a life of great work.)
Emerging leaders are not just junior, young and inexperienced.
I grew up listening to the London Life advertisements for Freedom 55–the concept of early retirement. Notwithstanding the legal troubles they face for not living up to that promise, it's largely a dumb idea. It provides a vision of 55 as the point of being done. I'm fine with someone working hard, building a business and selling the legacy to another business in exchange for well-earned financial independence, but it makes it easy for people to abdicate the personal responsibility to live a life of contribution and purpose. It always seemed tragic to remove talented people from the economy when society and the world-at-large faces so many daunting challenges.
It's never too late to reinvent yourself. It's also never too early.
One of the ways of staying healthy, relevant and full of vital energy is to keep growing and keep learning. As a child of Alzheimers, I've known for a long time that I need to stay in the game until the bitter end, but I'm prepared to state it as a general principle of a full life. I think we all need to find a way to stay in service and keep the big machine at the top sharp. The millennials are legitimately skeptical of the work-over-all-other-pursuits mentality of their parents, but I think maintaining a sensible integration of work and play and family and health just makes sense. You and I are both works in progress and so are the things we are creating.
Emerging leaders of all ages look for new ways to make a bigger impact.