Wednesday, November 26, 2014

There's Something Wrong with 40 Under 40

For years now the business community and its corresponding journals has been obsessed with a concept called Forty Under Forty. They select young business professionals under the age of forty to celebrate their accomplishments. What's wrong with that? A lot is wrong with that.

The whole concept of putting the young professionals on a pedestal as if some sort of god like creature gives them a greater than thou unrealistic view of the world. The universities have already done serious damage to their students by instilling a “the world owes me” attitude that was rolled up, tied with a ribbon and presented on graduation day. What this group really needs is an attitude adjustment and a reality pill with a chaser of failure to wash it down.

The United States of America may not be the only country but certainly leads the way when it comes to its disrespect and disregard for its elders with the knowledge and experience they possess. They have gained this knowledge by being allowed to fail and then by learning from those failures.

Am I biased? Certainly. Why? I think it's because I fear for the day the forty under forty finally get to experience reality. I believe they will come crashing to the ground like a rocket with a bad fuel stage, in a blaze of glory. Then, as Edward R Murrow once said on his radio show, “I Can Hear It Know.” The forty under forty will wonder: “What went wrong?” What happened?”

Here's what happened. They forgot to embrace their elders and didn't seek the sage advice the experienced could share; advice that could propel their career and might protect them from the crash and burn that is their destiny.

Disclaimer: The writer of the blog is well beyond forty years of age and is generally accepting of youthful opinion and ideas as long as they are tempered with reality and experience.

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