Old age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill. Willie and Waylon
Thanks to my friend John Pederson, I got a chance to hear Seth Godin in person yesterday morning in Minneapolis. A lively, well-presented delivery with an excellent Q&A, Godin didn't cover much new ground for those of us who are regular readers of his blog, but he did remind me about the need for innovation and change. As "artists" he says, we need to always be taking risks. Those who don't fail often should be fired.
In yesterday's post Senior Management, Seth Godin writes:
One thing that happens to management when they get senior is that they get stuck. ([It] isn't about old, it's about how long you've been there).
If you've been doing it forever, you discover (but may not realize) that the things that got you this power are no longer dependable.
Reliance on the tried and true can backfire.
This one struck a little nerve with me.
While I am probably not as old as many of you think, I am constantly running into peers who are the age of my daughter (and younger). I am in constant check for "hardening of the opinions." I am starting my 20th year in my current position (I rose to my level of incompetence early and stayed there) and I've been in education since 1976. You do the math.
And a guy has to wonder if a younger, more exited, less cyncial skeptical experienced person running the tech department might make a bigger difference in students lives. 'Where could we be by now?" I ask myself.
I am gobsmacked by some of the up-and-coming powerful voices in ed tech and libraries. I won't list them because I will leave somebody out - you know who you are. The ideas, enthusiasm, impatience and even anger is moving and exciting. They will cause change to happen.
<- Me in about 5 years.
What Godin and the young turks don't realize, however, this that we geezers have at least one small advantage - some of us would sort of like to get fired - or at least be encouraged to retire with a nice severance deal. That means we are happy to take some chances.
And maybe we have a little better idea of what chances are worth taking ...
Oh, Godin didn't look like any spring chicken himself.