I really never realize the value of my 32 years of business experience until after I retired from corporate America and ventured out to become an entrepreneur. Little did I know at the time while I was solving major business crises for the corporate world that those same crises would repeat themselves frequently in the new world of small business. My advice to every business owner and executive is….
- bring in someone experience first beforing wasting your time and money.
- and then do whatever it takes to KEEP them.
Do You Have Experience?
My experience becomes more relevant each time I sit in a staff meeting. I and the other over 50 vets of big business wars are always the only people in the room who have previously dealt with a number of the issues the under 30 something’s find overwhelming. Now, for the record, this does not mean I successfully dealt with the crisis of the day, but how I have dealt with a similar problem is always relevant towards solving today’s problem.
Value of Experience
Too many times business owners will discount the value of experience. Remarks like, we don’t need someone drawing us down by warning us about things that could not possibly happen in today’s business world…or…We cannot afford the disruption to the company’s innovation which an older person would create...always indicates a business leader’s lack of understanding the value of having someone on staff who can stand up under pressure.
It is unfortunate that experience is gained only over time and the more experience a person has at doing something the more value that time spent has become which means, only an older person has spent time gaining experience a young person will never obtain without spending the time.
Rejection of Experience
However, there are those companies waking up to the fact that having experience results in success. Unfortunately, this only has come about after a large number of businesses experienced many failures they could of avoided if they had someone experience on their staff.
Many of today’s young business owners..startups…and entrepreneurs… I have dealt with recently do not seem to respect the value of what someone senior to them has to offer. This attitude towards ignoring logic has been going on since the beginning of time and I have grown accustom to hearing statements made from the many 30 something CEO’s who have no practical experience in what they are doing say…we only want to look at fresh ideas and not relive the past.
There are a number of biases younger business people have towards anyone with more work experience or life. I have over the years had the fortunate..and unfortunate…opportunity to sit down with these hard headed individuals to dig into why they feel the way they do towards not bringing on more experience or senior executives for their business.
Here are the syndromes and complexes I found these junior executives with:
- Hated My Father
- You’re Like My Mom
- Was Beat Out of a Promotion by an ‘Ol Fart’
- My Mentor Warned Me About Hiring Experience
- I read where Older People Take Control
- Don’t Like Being Told What To Do
- Jealously Is the Strength of a more experience person
What it boiled down to is they are afraid. They have a fear of losing control. As a result, their efforts to prove they can succeed without guidance will drive them to failure.
Today’s business world is nowhere near like it was years ago. In a way that is good. However, it is very unfortunate that most businesses today are created with short term exit strategies which kill off any opportunity to school the next generation of business executives.
On average, it takes at least five years to see the conclusion of a change in the global economy and another five years to ride that surge in economy back. Along that ten year path of change are hundreds of problems that a business will have to solve.
Since the trend in businesses today is:
- to sell or be bought out within five years of develop
- and over 90% of the business executives change jobs every year…
…business executives today will never be offered an opportunity to gain the experience many of the over 50 executives gained from working for a company for over 20 years.
Without this cycle of experience perpetuating into the future of business management the future for most businesses looks rather bleak. Today’s junior executives are not provided the opportunity to gain experience in anything. As a result they grow old without any practical knowledge. Outside of writing resumes that is the only experience they have developed
Smart Thing To Do
The smarter of the many junior executives, who have worked with more experienced managers, will begin their development of a new business by searching out people with experience. Not just to mentor them, but to work with them to build their dream.
Again, it is unfortunate there are not that many ‘smart’ junior executives. Maybe they will change their thinking once they realize they need to work with more experienced managers instead of feeling they are taking away an opportunity.
It should be a comfort for the smarter younger business executives to know they someone on staff with experience to get them through any hard times.
Are you working for one of them? Or are you one of the juniors who want to fight history??
Let me know how I can help.