You’re never too Old!
The other day, was talking with a Managing Director of an association and we started to discuss ongoing training and learning. Surprising me, the Director stated that at his age, he was too old to keep up with technology and was tired of learning.
What a shame.
I totally get the technology angle. As my career advanced, it was hard to “keep up” with with latest technology. I would rather be studying about a new product, learning about a new marketing concept, updating myself on the latest digital technology, mentoring, and of course, being there for the family and setting aside time to make sure that I was enjoying life (see my blog post on “No one ever said they should have worked more on their death bed”). As we age, our priorities change, but, with our priorities changing, we must be ready to be pushed out of our current positions if we are skipping or not keeping up with a technology, concept, behavior that affects our professional career.
Let me say it this way: If you were an employee of mine, would you rather that I spend time on setting up the strategic marketing calendar or posting a video on TikTok? Trying to get you a raise or posting pictures on Instagram? You get the idea. Even with time management, you sill have to sacrifice something or something else.
But, I’m not too old to keep up with the technology, and like I said above, I just have to prioritize which technology I want to immerse myself in without sacrificing my work and leadership performance.
Now, the other statement that he said — about being tired of learning. I get it, if you are programmer. Learning C++, and HTML, and then Java, and then Python, and then Go, and so on and so on. Each one requiring a certificate, each one, as you move “up”, forcing you to go back to “school” and learning a new language. I look at my friends who are programmers, who have had to constantly learn as they advanced, and I am jealous(?) and proud(?) of them. Most industries advance, but, right now, anything with computers is advancing on a daily basis.
Marketing advances on a yearly basis (whew!!!).
So, back to learning. I love to learn. I love to teach. I love to learn through teaching. I love giving a class on marketing and the students start asking questions, which always begin with “Why did you do it this way? Why not that way?”. A few times, “that way” turns out to be something that I and my staff had never thought of.
I love to learn. I read. I watch videos. I constantly surf the net, looking for new ideas, new concepts, new trends. It amazes me, when I speak with the “young marketers” out there, and I discuss a unique way that I use Google Analytics or place an ad on LinkedIn, and I get back “I didn’t even think that you could do it that way?”.
So many of us try to always stay “in the lane” and not “rock the boat”.
I don’t. I am always out of my lane and not only rocking the boat, but driving it straight towards the beach!! I love thinking outside the box and testing concepts and new ideas. The young marketers and communicators today are afraid do try anything that has already been tested. And it’s a shame.
Learning allows us to constantly refresh our mind and the way we think. When you are tired of learning, it is time to retire and fade away.
As I finish this post, let me also say this. Read — read fiction, read science-fiction, read history, read autobiographies, read news, and so on. But, read “outside the box” — it will keep your mind fresh and looking at things a little differently. Watch videos and movies — watch fiction, watch science-fiction, watch history, and so on. Yes, it may be boring, even excruciating, but if you learn just one thing, it has paid off.