This past weekend, I was supposed to lead a team to a bonspiel in Detroit  (Barbara – 60ish, Deb 50ish, Julia 40ish, Krista 20-30ish). I’m sad to say, at the last minute I was very sick and had to find a sub for me as the captain (Skip) of the team. Luckily, they found Bethany (20ish) to be the captain. While they did not come away victorious, the picture of them smiling ear to ear was priceless. And so, the team’s age extended from 20’s to 60ish. Curling is a sport for any age to enjoy sportsmanship, the sport and even victory! I am grateful for the practice we had leading up to the event, leveraging their strengths and giving them the confidence, they can do this!  This is the beauty of mentorship and I so love it!

And in another curling story, friend Lauren who I curl with is about 20 years younger than I, helped me to get over my lack of confidence to make tough shots. After calling a challenging shot that I was very uncomfortable with, she came over to me and said “you got this!”. Needless to say, I made the shot and realized her kind words were all I needed. She’s curled fewer years than I, but her words are wise beyond her years and she helped me to find my confidence. .

And then I wonder, why can’t we have this same relationship in business, success through collaboration whether 20 or 60?

Such a shame that we lose sight of wisdom regardless of its source. Phyllis Weiss Haserot who is an expert in Cross Generational relationships and communications will be back on my show in a few weeks to discuss mentorship across the ages. Phyllis is many years wise in this area and years younger than I comparably with her vivacious energy.

Mentorship is ageless.

Gone are the days of thinking it is someone older and wiser than can cascade advice. The best advice can come from someone younger than us or even a peer. The key is are we open to listen and receive the mentorship?

If we lead with a mindset that mentorship can come from anyone regardless of age, cross generationally we can all reap the benefits of being open to receive from anyone who cares to give us sound advice.

And given that insight, might we set up mentorship based on wisdom and perspective vs. assignment based on age?

Might the organization be richer if we look through a different mentorship lens?

And lastly, if you haven’t cultivated a cross generational mentorship program; could it be the best investment in talent retention, development and most importantly, leaving your legacy?

I may not have been able to curl with my early experienced team this weekend, but I know I helped them to achieve their goals: Be safe, have fun and win a few ends. Additionally, Julia came back to me and said she had a great time and cannot wait to go to another bonspiel. Julia’s about 15 years younger than me, but through her words, she encourages me more to help others to build their confidence and take on the world. For her friendship and also her mentorship, I am forever grateful.

And now I turn to you? What is your legacy? Have you cultivated a nurturing environment through mentorship and might I say through a different lens not based on age, but by wisdom?

Do you or do you know someone who is having this challenge?

Would a guide help to navigate these challenges?

For the unfiltered, off the cuff discussion about this topic, please listen to my podcast airing on 2/9/24 and view the video so you see how I really feel about this topic!.

If you are a CEO who would love a partner to help you with a business challenge, be your #2 or help develop the team of tomorrow, let us partner in 2024.

Be well-Deb