Yesterday morning, while attending a socially distanced breakfast meeting, my friend, Kerri, recounted a recent podcast she had listened to by Jonathan Van Ness. JVN suggested that everyone over 40 could benefit from engaging with a younger mentor. Although reverse mentoring is not a new concept, Kerri (and JVN) got me thinking.
Of course all of us over 40 could benefit from the insight into technology and social media that a younger mentor could provide, but I believe it goes well beyond that. As we age, one benefit (and curse) is that we believe that we know better now. And we do, but that thinking also sets the stage for us to be inflexible, myopic, and stuck in our ways—which is NEVER a good thing.
Every day I see another corporation on LinkedIn talk about what appears to be a top-down approach to racial equality and I always think, “I hope it’s being led by the younger generation.” We may not always agree with our younger counterparts, but taking the time to listen to how they see things can only help to OPEN our minds. As the quote goes, “There is nothing more dangerous than a closed mind.” And, “A closed mind is a dying mind.” So how do you feel about having “a dying mind”? Not so good, huh? “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities…” Do you have a young mentor in mind? I think it’s time.
P.S. “With age comes wisdom, but sometimes age comes alone.” ~ Oscar Wilde