Life goes on, long after the thrill of livin’ is gone.
~ Singer John Cougar Mellencamp, “Jack & Diane,” 1982
Deservedly, there has long been fascination with and emphasis on youth.
The young are unrestrained by convention. Free to envision possibilities and pursue them. Not yet encumbered by traditional mind-sets or weighted by responsibilities.
For Jack and Diane, the magical age was 16, and Mellencamp urges them to hold onto it as long as they can. The song is a tribute to the wonders of youth.
To the politically and socially rebellious generation that came of age during the ’60s and ’70s, the mantra was, “Never trust anyone over 30.” Until they passed that benchmark.
“Kids These Days,” a recent feature in a New York Times magazine, explores the impact creative twenty-somethings have on their world. Much of the article was the usual — fresh eyes, new perspectives, etc. But a quote from a venture capitalist was jarring: “People under 35 make things happen. People over 45 basically die in terms of new ideas.”
Few are in that uber-creative category. They are propelled to riches and celebrity by technologies that catch on big-time, by clothing that captures the imagination of consumers, by entertainment prowess. The rest of us get on life’s treadmill early. We acquire our skills, raise our families, rise through hierarchies in our careers.
Along the way, many stumble. For those at the top, the descent is steep, the media unrelenting. Celebrity is a harsh mistress. The public is even more fascinated by a sudden fall from grace than by a stellar rise to fame.
For the rest of us, the fall is equally painful, if less public. The causes are many, and the stakes are high. Reputations are on the line — yours, your company’s, your nonprofit’s. If those are lost, so is all you’ve worked for.
No time for indecision or half-measures. To protect your legacy, you must act quickly, decisively and effectively.
“Because Reputation Is Your Most Valuable Asset”
Gillott Communications is a Los Angeles-based public relations firm that specializes in high-stakes Crisis & Reputation Management. If you don’t already subscribe, please sign up for our blog Insights on High-Stakes PR. You can reach Roger Gillott directly at 310-826-8696.