Sunday, December 07, 2008

How do we blend wisdom, energy, creativity and technology understanding?

One of the issues with leaders and managers in any field is that there are often conflicting requirements. Youth can bring creativity, tech-savvy, energy, while age and experience can bring wisdom, perspective, and knowledge. However, many older people also have energy, creativity (half of all entrepreneurs are over 50), and are very technologically up to date. A 60 or 70 year old can be more effective than a 30 or 40 year old - but individuals need to be looked at as such, not just as a category.

JFK's team when he was elected was stunning in its intelligence and energy. "The Best and the Brightest," as Halberstam called it sardonically. Yet this was the team which led the US into a deeper and deeper quagmire in Vietnam and huge social as well as economic unrest at home. Companies led by unusually young CEOs underperform companies led by CEOs over 60 - though not always.

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