Wisdom @ Work – The Making of a Modern Elder

The last long weekend of the summer and I had a chance to finish my latest read. This once was written by Chip Conley who has a website called Modern Elder Academy.

As somebody who has spent the last 22-years in digital marketing space, I found this read very timely. This industry has given me so much but as I think about my career as I enter my 50’s (I am closer to 50 now then I am to 40) it is always important to think about what will make me happy in my 50’s.

Wisdom @ Work; Making of a Modern Elder

A few insights that I found most valuable in this read.


Chip speaks about the notion of being both a mentor as well as an intern. I am starting to understand this more and more. From a personal perspective, I use to be the guy who was always on the leading edge. I still try to. The first time I felt old in technology was with the Snapchat platform. That one was just not intuitive to me. I finally learned it and started to understand the power of what they were doing. In this case, I am becoming the “intern” with many of the young people that I hire in my role. Whether it is engineers, data scientists, marketing, etc. I am inspired by the quality of people of get the privilege of working with and mentoring.

That said, I have been told I am a great mentor who provides a lot of value. As somebody who has sold a couple of companies, scaled applications to millions of people, generated hundred’s of millions in digital revenues from products I built, signed hundreds of deals in my career and managed lots of teams many young people find value in what worked and more importantly what did not work for me in my career. The combination of youth and experience is a real competitive advantage for companies as Chip indicates in his book.

Longevity Strategy

There is a chapter that is directed to founders and HR folks about creating a longevity strategy for your operations. This is a very powerful insight as I don’t know of many companies that are embracing this. The concept makes lot of sense. With the aging population and the demand increasing for talent, the companies that have a clear strategy to combine youth and experience and think outside the box for employees who are in the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and even 60s (maybe even 70s) is critical to remain competitive.

From a business perspective, this is the most powerful chapter in the book.

Perennial Millennial

This is a great combination of words. In essence, age is just a number. When you approach life thinking about “what’s next” or embracing the unknown you can discover many amazing things that make you happy and allow you to learn a whole new set of skills. There is a chapter the book called “Rewire, Don’t Retire” and although I am not close to retirement yet, this chapter spoke to me as it is more about being very self-aware of your value and if you need to change your career you have lots of time to do it.


Would I recommend this book, absolutely. It is a good read. Concise and very practical. Whether you are older or younger, this is worth a read for anybody looking at their career or part of a company and looking for a competitive edge.

Pick it up at Amazon.