Common Sense

Out With the Old?

He's getting old now. Not nearly the dashing, darting figure of years past. But I estimate at close to 80, he's in darn good shape.

He still has a firm grip in that handshake. And he still has a firm grip on the world.

He never became the CEO he wanted to be. He lost a turf battle decades ago because, as he freely admitted, "I was just too nasty an S-O-B."

That didn't stop a competitor, years later, from hiring him — not as a CEO, but as a top adviser. The way the competitor saw it, this old man had waged his battles, had won and lost his turf. He had nothing to prove. And this CEO had nothing to fear.

So the old man came in and, without deference to his boss or sycophantish worship to his cause, he changed things.

Young whippersnappers, who used to dismiss this Mr. Magoo character, soon snapped to when he came in a room.

Not only because his ideas proved sound, but because the boss they were really sucking up to, found them sounder and more profitable still.

And it got me thinking: Too many of our best and brightest are put out to pasture, when they could still be put to work — testing us, annoying us and challenging us.

They say the corporate world is a young person's world. Looking at my now aging friend, I have but one question: Why?

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