Updated: Feb 18
As we travel through our lives, each of us collects an experience of living that is very personal to us.
Yet our individual lives also benefit from the experience of others who have gone before us, and who journey with us.
In fact, everyday of our lives, we use products and services and approaches to life that have been handed down from both family and the society around us.
Experience is central to the human condition.
And experience is a key component in wisdom.
Now I’d like you to imagine something for me.
Imagine a life without the toothbrush, or a dishwasher, or a lawnmower.
Imagine a life without your smartphone, because the lithium battery hadn’t been invented.
Imagine a life without books, because there was no printer to print them.
What is interesting about this picture is that none of these inventions would have existed without a mature and experienced person because they were all invented by someone over the age of forty.
And yet, in our society - in this day and age - an age where we consider ourselves civilised and enlightened. Mature people are subjected to ageism and barriers to employment that should not exist in a civil and advanced society.
The next time you see a mature individual - someone over 45 - look beyond their age, and see the whole person. Then do these three things.
Look at their life experience and work experience and match all of that to the outcomes you want from the role you need to fill.
Consider how they could add value, and expertise and wisdom to your life or your business.
Be age agnostic in your organisation, and reap the rewards of a multi-generational workplace.
Maybe, if each of us makes this change in our approach; if as leaders we put in place strategies to take advantage of this under tapped resource.
If as recruiters, we were to push back on employees who won’t employ people over 50. Then, and only then as a community could we claim to be getting some wisdom for real.