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Lessons from Experience: Ageless Wisdom

Posted by Joe Antle on October 31, 2019 5:15 PM EDT
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The recent series of blog postings by our team made me think about the value of capturing wisdom.....

....from those who have reached an older age and have experiences that can be shared and from which wisdom can be gleaned.  To be perfectly honest about this and whether or not there's "there there", capturing and sharing knowledge and applying that knowledge for solutions to socio-economic issues of the day seems like a big opportunity.

On the other hand, I'm no expert in knowledge management, data processing, AI (Artificial Intelligence, not necessarily Ageless Intelligence) or anything else.

Much has been written about projects that have tried to mine the experiences of the men and women who are members of the "greatest generation", and who fought in World War Two.  Or even more dramatic, those who experienced and survived the Holocaust.  What about those who mapped the roads systems, invented some of the earlier versions of today's modern conveniences and so on?  What if we could process those great lessons told through stories and somehow recapture that for future solutions to today's vexing socio-economic problems...and opportunities?

Many years ago, I had the great opportunity to participate in and attend some "beta" versions of courses offered by the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, NC.  The CCL has locations all over the world, but one of the central ones for the research into the factors that make up creative leadership was in Guilford County, NC-near Greensboro.  At the time, fortunate folks like me who volunteered for the local Chamber of Commerce often were invited to attend great early versions of training programs, seminars and workshops developed from CCL research.  One of the three I had the great fortune to attend was based on research and the book that CCL researchers wrote called, The Lessons of Experience.  

In a nutshell, the book and the course emphasized that the greatest developmental and learning influences in extraordinarily successful executives from all sorts of businesses and nonprofits, governmental jobs and the arts, was with deeply challenging experiences early in their careers.  As I think back on that, it's true for me and many others I know too.

I've listed below some vital statistics for those of you who may be inclined to look further into the subject.  In the meantime, I will keep trying to think about the vast knowledge that can be gained and applied that rests in the hearts and minds of our elder generation.  And I'll keep trying to imagine what a vast source of socio-economic power such knowledge and experiences could potentially provide if only we can see America's aged citizenry as a vast treasure trove of opportunity not fully tapped.  Ageless wisdom mined from the aged.  Go figure...



Lessons of Experience: How Successful Executives Develop on the Job
Issues in organization and management series
Lexington Books
The Issues in organization and management series: Business/Management


Morgan W. MccallMichael W. LombardoMichael M. LombardoAnn M. Morrison


D. C. Heath and Company




Simon and Schuster, 1988

People rarely come into management possessing all the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to advance. They must develop, and most development occurs not in the classroom but on the job. This classic book, based on information from 191 accomplished and high-potential executives describes key developmental events and the lessons that can be learned from them.

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