Archive for July, 2015

Discussion Topic: ‘Sod 70’: lifelong education and the highly experienced executive

Duncan EnrightLeaderShape Director, Duncan Enright,  Head of Healthcare Practice and Head of Publishing Practice, regularly hears concerns in his leadership development work about the demographics of the workplace.  LeaderShape works to unlock the potential of experienced workers – ensuring they continue to be an asset to their organisations. Although often perceived as a male problem, the density of women in the 50–59 age group causes particular issues and can, with the right leadership, have very satisfactory outcomes for teams and managers.

His blog is published here:

257839464_640“IT’S THE TALK OF HRDs: companies are failing to encourage employees over 50 to stay, train and develop within the business. In a recent survey of over 1400 managers, the Institute of Leadership and Management found they ‘scored workers over 50 at 46% for attributes such as keenness to learn, develop and progress’. This supposedly ‘unmotivated’ group could be the solution to the predicted problem, identified by Government, that 13.5 million jobs are likely to be created in the next year, yet only 7 million young people will enter the work force.

Sir Muir Gray, knighted for services to the NHS, understands this gap between the ’40-50 something’ worker and older colleagues; he calls for all involved to take control of any ‘limitations’ in his recent publication ‘Sod 70!’. When talking to the national press, Gray poses the questions: ‘What groups can we distinguish within this huge age range and how should we refer to them.. to us? The use of a single attribute is fraught with danger because people differ from one another in many more ways than they are similar’.

LeaderShape is a company built on the appreciating the value and emotional intelligence of all employees. LeaderShape faculty’s senior directors constantly seek to develop, either through additional experience or further qualifications within the workplace. Organisations that refocus on developing the emotional intelligence of leaders and employees will motivate everyone, including employees aged over 50. Unlocking the potential leadership qualities of staff helps everyone succeed.”

LeaderShape’s CEO, John Knights, comments :

“As a ‘closer to 70’ executive who is passionate about developing leaders for the future, the problem with many over-50s is that they have stopped learning and developing. When that happens they are no longer suitable for leadership positions. On the other hand 50+ executives who are interested in continuing development and open to learning can make the best transpersonal (beyond the ego) leaders because of their experience and level of human development.”

There is an identified need for employees over 50. Public advocates such as Muir Gray see their value and potential; organisations such as LeaderShape can help unlock the potential of the older employee and the older leader.