Top Ten Quotes: Wisdom at Work
Chip Conley was a legend in the hotel industry. He had served as CEO of Joie de Vivre Hospitality for 26 years. At age 52, a young tech wizard invited him to leave it all behind and work with people half his age at a little upstart we know as Airbnb.
And that was the catalyst that eventually led to Wisdom at Work: The Making of a Modern Elder. In it, Conley chronicles what he learned as the “old guy” in a business full of youngsters. And he helps us as readers of a – clears throat – “certain age” to learn how to pair life’s wisdom with a beginner’s mindset as we figure out how to keep learning from our younger counterparts and contribute our best selves to the second half of life.
Granted, Wisdom at Work is probably not relevant to my blog readers under 40. And even for those in their early 40s, the book may feel like a stretch. But as I’m creeping ever-closer to that half a century mark, I found it to be a helpful, insightful look at how I can serve – and learn from – my younger coworkers better.
Here are my top ten favorite quotes:
- [M]any of these young…leaders are being thrust into positions of power—often running companies or departments that are scaling quickly—with little experience or guidance.
- …so many of us feel like we’re growing whole rather than growing old.
- We’re not really wired to listen to and learn from young faces—but that’s exactly what we need to do in order to reap the rewards of being a Modern Elder.
- We know what a mentor relationship looks like as, historically, wisdom flowed downhill. But, today, for the first time, we are seeing the power of an intergenerational transfer of wisdom that flows in both directions.
- …if I was the smartest person in the room, I was in the wrong room.
- …a child asks about forty thousand questions between the age of two and five. Yet our educational system encourages us to seek answers, not questions, so by the time we graduate into the workforce, we feel like the simple questions have been educated right out of us.
- The best teachers are those who stay enrolled as students.
- it may fall to us to win the trust of our younger colleagues, by asking empathetic questions, showing vulnerability, describing instead of prescribing, and proving your loyalty and commitment to confidentiality.
- As you’re presented with an opportunity to provide counsel, ask yourself, “How can I best serve this person?”
- Being a Modern Elder is all about reciprocity. Giving and receiving. Teaching and learning. Speaking and listening. Everyone gets older, but not everyone gets elder. The first just happens (if you’re lucky and healthy). The other you have to earn.
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