Jamie retired from business, got bored and was looking for something to do. A job came available and he decided to go for it. Now Jamie, as you can imagine, is in his 60’s – late 60’s actually. And when he went to work for the new company his boss was just a kid.
Not really, but someone in their 30’s, so definitely a kid to Jamie! As you might imagine, it took a bit of introspection for Jamie to get comfortable. After all – he had led companies and now he was reporting, not to the Board of Directors, but somebody who had half of his own experience.
Let’s have a look at how Jamie made it work:
- He accepted the fact his boss had skills he didn’t have – although Jamie’s computer technology skills were good, he knew they weren’t great and this young fella had been born with a mouse in his hand
- Jamie liked not having to worry about staff, shareholders and competitors – he could focus on his job, go home at the end of his day and leave those worries to his new boss
- While the boss had technology in his back pocket, Jamie helped him through his own experience of working with staff and suppliers – a win/win for both men
- Jamie became a mentor to many of the staff who looked to him for the wisdom he brought to the job
- He was always on the lookout for better ways to increase the bottom line – after all he did lead businesses, yet, rather than be the “king of the castle” he would weave his thoughts into his conversations with his boss – he believed it doesn’t matter who gets the credit as long as it gets done and it worked well to help his boss grow
- Business is all about relationships – always has been and always will be – and that is an area that is not always easy for the younger generation who spend so much time on social media rather than face-to-face – Jamie was good at building these relationships and helping his boss recognize how he too could build relationships
- He understands the strengths of his boss and he speaks to this with his co-workers
- And finally, he regularly asked his boss how he could help – actually a good idea for everyone to do to co-workers, bosses and suppliers
Yes, the world is shifting! The Traditionalists (1925-1945) are mostly gone from business today, the Baby Boomers (1946-1964) are leaving in droves and will continue to do so over the next 10 years. Because the Boomers don’t know much more than work most will seek out other employment. When they become partners as Jamie has, the working relationship is a great one. If they like to complain about the “young ’uns” the reality is they will be unhappy and possibly soon be looking for another position. It needn’t be that way!
Even though Jamie raised his eyebrows when he was introduced to his new, much younger boss, he was able to see the advantages of working for someone young enough to be his son. Ultimately, the two have great respect for each other and are good friends. If you are working with someone younger, look for the positives and see how you can be a good mentor. It makes it so much easier to go to work!
Just the other day the power company was replacing transformers near our home. It was interesting to watch the old and the new. One young man was in a hoist attached to his truck and he went up and down using the levers in the bucket. The other young man used cleated boots to climb up from the ground. To get tools one man got his by lowering the bucket so someone could hand him the tools while the other used a pully system to raise the tools he needed.
It made me realize there is a place for the old methods and the new to live compatibly. Look around you and see where the old methods still work and where the new methods are just as valuable. I would love to hear what you notice.
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