Manufacturing Excellence – Inspire, Lead, and Succeed with WISDOM!

Knowledge speaks,
but wisdom listens.
~ Jimi Hendrix
Wikipedia defines that wisdom as a deep understanding and realizing of people, things, events or situations, resulting in the ability to choose or act to consistently produce the optimum results with a minimum of time and energy.
The older I get, the more I realize that all the dots in our life are connected and some things may not make sense when they happen but looking back, they do. Have you ever noticed that? I certainly know that everything I had to struggle with and overcome, now makes perfect sense. I am grateful for all of my experiences and that I am open enough to learn and grow every single day, but more than anything else, I want to pass this knowledge on to other people. 
In my line of work I meet different people from different backgrounds, different religions, different cultures, who have been raised differently, and as a result I have learned to embrace diversity.
We all know that people nowadays get categorized into different generations like the baby boomers, generation X and generation Y. While I believe there is a lot of truth to that, I do not like to stereotype people and generalize that younger people are unwilling to put effort into their work. They just know better than the generations before what they want and their main goal is to be treated well and to enjoy life. Younger people also want to be treated with respect and the way in which we communicated in the past simply does not work for them. 
Lately I have noticed that many senior people in organizations feel threatened and insecure by younger people entering the workforce. I hear comments like “what can THEY tell me about my line of work that I have been doing for more than 20 years” or “THEY think they can tell me how to do things better” or “THEY are unwilling to learn”. Could it be that younger people don’t want to be bossed around? Could it be that the way how you communicate with them is not effective? Could it be that their minds need more stimulation as they have grown up in a fast paced world of technology and information?
Wouldn’t you agree that those who are older and have more experience should be smarter and should try to figure out how to take advantage of these differences, to make them work for the benefit of everyone?
We all know, every side has two stories. The younger people tell me “THEY are not willing to share their knowledge” or “I have ideas to make things better but THEY think they know it all and their ego does not allow them to listen” or “I can’t stay in this place if THEY don’t appreciate my input”. 
Let’s stop it right here. Do you notice that it is all about perspective and how you look at things? It is about your values, your upbringing, the things you have learned in your life, and overall it is about who you are as a person. Are you interested in finding out and showing a genuine interest in the people around you? 
If you have many years of experience in your field, why not share your wisdom with others?
Could it be that a fresh set of eyes and a new perspective could be valuable to make necessary changes?
Is their a slight chance that you would enjoy asking younger people meaningful questions to hear their thoughts and ideas?
How would it make you feel to know that people value you as a mentor who is still interested in learning more?
The advantage older people have to younger ones is that they have gained more knowledge and experience, and therefore they have more wisdom to share. Please don’t stereotype our new generation, instead help them to learn, grow, and become better and better so that one day they can follow your footsteps. 
Please share your wisdom but more than anything LISTEN to what other people have to say.
There is a leadership shortage in the world and these young people will be the leaders of tomorrow. Don’t you think that it is our obligation to help them to become the best leaders they can be?

Comments

  1. Ah yes, “they” always seem to be the enemy. I remember when I was hired at my first job out of college. I worked with a few “they’s” and I will always remember Charlie. He was not a “they”. Instead he would challenge me, teach me and share his experiences with me. Along the way I discovered a few more just like Charlie. Now that I’m older and theoretically wiser, I enjoy sharing my experiences along the way as well. Keeping and open mind, seeing the forest through the trees, whatever we call it, it is always best that we leave ourselves open to being wrong and celebrate it. It is after all a huge burden to always be correct and sad when we stop learning along the way.

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