Yes, wisdom often comes with age and experience. But so do the baggage and inertia that create blinders to new ways of thinking and doing.
Consider these comments. They’re anathema to dynamic minds.
“We get by.” “Business may not have grown much, but it’s been steady.” “We’ve always done it this way.”
Youth has benefits. It can infuse vision and energy that jolts an organization out of the status quo. Size matters not, although the effect is amplified as the second generation takes the reins in a family enterprise.
Chris Sacca, an early-stage investor in dozens of companies including Twitter, Uber, Instagram, and Kickstarter, reached the same conclusion in Tim Ferris’ latest book Tools of Titans: “When you have a lot of experience with something, you don’t notice the things that are new about it. You don’t notice the idiosyncrasies that need to be tweaked. You don’t notice where the gaps are, what’s missing, or what’s not really working.”
This also is the raison d’être for outside advisers. Their counsel is valued because they’re unencumbered by customs, biases, and passions. They’re prized additions to your inner circle because their solutions work.
They have only one goal: The client’s success.
Many fall into this category. Lawyers who help avoid landmines in the first place and extricate you if damage is done. Business gurus who have the expertise to increase sales, smooth out financial messes, and uncork operational bottlenecks. Coaches who break you of bad speaking habits you were totally unaware you had (or have been ashamed of) for years.
It’s about coming in with a fresh set of eyes (or four eyes if you’re like either Roger or Eden). It’s about picking up on things that have been missed, brushed under the proverbial rug, or long since forgotten. It’s about adding value for your clients.
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