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PRODUCT.|PHILOSOPHY.|LIFE.

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Survival of the wisest

Over the weekend, I read Chip Conley's new book - Wisdom at Work. Chip joined Airbnb in 2013 when he was in his fifties and when the average age of the company was half his age. His manager, the CEO Brian Chesky, was twenty years his junior.

I first came across Chip on The Tim Ferris Show, which is my favourite podcast at the moment. I enjoyed the conversation between Chip and Tim and decided to buy the book. This is increasingly becoming the majority source of my book recommendations as seven out of ten books that I've bought recently have been ones that I first came across while listening to a podcast.

In the book, Chip talks about the concept of a modern elder, who can bring their vital life experience to aid the organizations they work in and the people they work with. This is an increasingly important topic as most tech companies employ people in their twenties and thirties while not preferring to hire older employees.

While the book is about people in their mid and later part of their lives can rewire themselves to bring their wisdom to the workplace and add value, what I took away most was the need to grow wise as I grow older.

People in my generation are very likely to live to a hundred years, which means that most of us are likely to be contributing to the economy through one kind of job or another at least for another fifty to sixty years. That's a long time to go. This means that we'll have to grow wiser as we grow older so that we are setting ourselves up to be the then modern elders who can continue to add transform our experience into value to the places we work at and to the people we work with.

It used to be survival of the fittest. But in the knowledge age, the wise ones are the ones who are fit. So, it is now survival of the wisest.

Are you becoming wise as you grow older?

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