both generations working

By Francis J. Kong

At the zoo, a man watched as an attendant entered a wildcat cage through a door on the opposite side. He had nothing in his hands but a broom. Carefully closing the door, he proceeded to sweep the floor of the cage. The onlooker observed that the worker had no weapon to ward off an attack by the beast. In fact, when he got to the corner of the cage where the wildcat was lying, he poked the animal with the broom.

The wildcat hissed at him and then lay down in another corner of the enclosure.

He remarked to the attendant, “You certainly are a brave man.”

“No I ain’t brave,” he replied as he continued to sweep.

“Well, then, that cat must be tame.”

“No,” came the reply, “he ain’t tame.”

“If you aren’t brave and the wildcat isn’t tame, then I can’t understand why he doesn’t attack you.”

The man chuckled, then replied with an air of confidence, “Mister, he’s old — and he ain’t got no teeth.”
Do not be intimidated by the long term senior workers in the office.

They are mature in terms of age. They look fierce. Maybe they are fierce but they carry no teeth. Especially those who are egoistic and proud.

Respect them but do not be intimidated by them.

Many proud and arrogant old term seniors do not only have a hardening of the arteries, they also have a hardening of the argument. And this is not a good thing. They have the work experience. They know the office politics. The worst thing for seniors to do is to be intimidated by the young entrants to the market place. Seniors should leverage their experience with the energy, speed, stamina and the new ideas new entrants have. Mentor the young ones and pass on their skill and experience to the new generation.

New entrants on the other hand should respect the seniors. Ask questions. Learn from the. Seek them as mentors and jump start their career success. This is called leveraging.

Some old term seniors are still banking on their ego and they go on constant power trips to assure themselves that they still matter, that they are still important. But when they are no longer growing, when they have lost their passion for their work and when they have gone idle then they have lost their teeth.

On the contrary there’s these young people who come in too strong. While it is good that they have new ideas and they have all these new techie skills they think like they are now on a mission to change the entire organization. They look at the old timers with contempt and they entertain an air of superiority thinking that these seniors are on their way out and now the world is ours! This is dumb! You cannot change anything if you do not first understand what it is all about.

Here is the balance.

Senior people should have the courage to learn from the young. While it is true that they may lack in new and emerging skills they still carry with them the precious work experience and the wisdom gathered through the years in making the business run. Mentor the young. And in doing so you learn from them too.

Young and new entrants in the market place should learn from their seniors. Treat them with respect. Have the courage to ask questions. Seek them for advice, learn the ropes and realize that what takes those years to accumulate in terms of experience and wisdom you can now learn if you could develop a healthy and respectable relationship with them.

Here is the key. Always consider others better than yourselves and in doing so you develop the courage to rise up to your success the right way.

A senior executive talking to a young new executive said: “Young man, the secret of my success is that at an early age I discovered I was not God.”

You cannot succeed by yourself. It’s hard to find a rich recluse.