Mutual Respect Blends Intellect and Experience

We’ve been confronting our struggles of pointing fingers at goals rather than people. Last week we read about how we need to be respectful of one another, especially when we work together. We will definitely let one another down, so providing a bit of grace and understanding can help us find success more easily.

With this foundation, we can take on another one of our built-in obstacles. As Ernest Hemingway put it “The error of youth is to believe that intelligence is a substitute for experience, while the error of age is to believe experience is a substitute for intelligence”. Digest that for a minute. The error of youth is to believe intelligence is a substitute for experience. The error of age is that experience is a substitute for intelligence.

Imagine what happens when great intellect meets open-minded experience. The potential runs off the charts. It’s easy to see, but realizing it is a bit more elusive. Why is this dramatic rise in opportunity loaded with an equally dramatic rise in risk? Good ideas and fresh perspective, when ignored by the seasoned professional, become lost opportunities. In time, these will no longer be shared. Its the seasoned professional that holds the key to receiving great ideas. Are you worth having great ideas shared with you?

The newer teammates need access to initiatives and experience that can propel them forward. The experienced folks tend to hold the keys to these opportunities. If they don’t share them, many good ideas will die a premature death. Are you worth having insights and opportunities shared with you?

As Mr. Hemingway shared so simply – both perspectives are needed. It’s an error, a failure to be disrespectful to what a different perspective brings to a situation. My career has been full of seeing these types of opportunities. The only generation I struggle with is my own – those who have endured and conquered before me gravitate towards me as does the generation of fresh ideas that trails me.  I’ve had countless people openly share ideas, dreams, and thoughts with me for no other reason than to open the door to my opportunities. These people are almost always at least 10 years older or younger than I am.

Please take the time to appreciate the patience and persistence it took for experienced folks to gain it. Please take the time to appreciate the courage it takes to challenge the status quo with an idea. You will face situations from either of these points of view many more times. Its my hope that you do so more respectfully. I promise you, your reward will be worth the added effort.

Good luck!