Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Age matters

Relative to other company presidents and business owners, I guess I'm pretty young. I've had to hear lots of comments from people about my age, mostly from people who are older than me, insinuating that somehow my age is an impediment to my value. Of course, it probably doesn't help that I'm a female, either--somehow young, ambitious men get more credit and credibility for their ideas and drive.

I've been thinking about this in relation to the Clinton-Obama nomination battle. Clinton is touting her experience and Obama his fresh perspective. Both are seen as serious contenders for one of the top leadership positions in the world. I am curious how this will play out, since Clinton and Obama have touted very similar views. Let's say Clinton wins--experience would seem to be the key factor that people believe makes a good leader. If Obama wins, he would actually be figuring some stuff out as he goes along, opening up the possibility for mistakes, yes, but also to create something new--new processes, new ways of looking at old problems.

I'm trying to create something new. I don't think my age inhibits me, I think it helps. And I hope that 20 years from now, I'll still be positioning myself as a proponent of "new" and not just relying on my experience to give me credibility.

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