Neilson Kite, a management consultant, says that ‘Age makes no difference’. At 65 he is still working full time.
‘Age makes no difference….’ Although some would argue that with increasing age, your mind makes appointments that your body may not be able to keep, it is an open and agile mind that makes more difference to your enterprise than your physical faculties. It is not necessary to be a workaholic to be successful.
Having a good work/life balance energisesyour thought processes. Your experience enables you to pace your activities so as to get the best out of them all. Of the five attributes you might be looking for in assessing someone’s capacity to succeed – skills, knowledge, qualifications, experience and attitude, it is the last two that really make the difference. Even older people can easily learn new skills, acquire knowledge and get qualifications, but there is no substitute for experience, confidence and determination – at any age.
Perhaps the most significant factor, however, is that with age and experience, you lose the fear of the unknown, you‘ve dealt with all sorts of difficult people and situations for years and know that you will find a way to cope with new ones. The ‘seen it all before’ factor is very powerful in giving you the confidence to face up to things, to be open and direct with difficult people, see things for what they really are and take things unemotionally in your stride’
It is this confidence that can give you the considerable advantage.
What was your previous occupation?
Director of a software house, marketing agency, trade association, innovation centre among others. Specialisations were marketing, sales and strategy development. Employed initially in Blue Chip businesses (ICL, BOC, Thorn EMI) in marketing roles.
I started working life teaching English in schools, further and higher education in the UK, Sweden and Kenya.
What was your change of direction?
*From teaching into industrial PR in 1972
*From PR to marketing and management in 1977
*From employee director into own consultancy operation in 1996
What do I like about my work?
*Ability to apply clarity and build motivation in my clients
*A great network
*The opportunity to address issues that may not previously have been encountered anywhere
*Trying to do things better than others (competitive streak)
*Writing white papers
What are some of the challenges?
*Practising what I preach
*Managing business peaks and troughs
*Better ratio of short and longer term projects
Will you ever retire?
*I can’t see that I can possibly abandon the interest, variety and stimulation involved in what I do.
*I subscribe to that nice expression ‘the young of all ages’.