“Wanted, CEO of Not For Profit group, offices in all major cities towns and regions of the world. Workforce of 3 million, annual budget of 2 billion. Serving over 1 billion clients per year. Dealing with worldwide geopolitical events, you will need good stamina, much travel and meetings involved.”
Can you imagine what you would need to take on this kind of role? What type of skills would you need? Well, this past while, a 78 year old cardinal took on this new job: Pope.
I think it is amazing that anyone would do this, not too mention someone who is 78. I realize his situation is quite unique, but think of the wisdom, life experience and knowledge that he brings to this position. Unfortunately we do live in a young world. In 1980, 45% of CEO’s were between 60-69 years old. By 2002 that statistic had dropped to 25%. However, I take consolation in the fact that someone like Cardinal Ratzinger is now taking on his new role. What courage and openness it must take for his peers to recognize what he has to offer. It does give me hope that there are situations where this is possible.
I get questions all the time? Am I too old? Is it too late? While there are different challenges and there are certain jobs with age restrictions, there are many examples of those who have been able to transition later in life. It is more difficult to do this at 45 than 25, but not impossible.
However, the age of our mind is way more important. I know some very youthful 60 year olds and some very old 43 year olds.
Along the road with you…