I find stories of leaders who have successfully reinvented themselves mid-career both compelling and informative. This is mainly because I have been on this journey for the past 4 years and am always on the look out for guides.
Chip Conley has successfully made this transition, and is now helping many others take the same journey. Rather than being a “sage from the stage”, Chip describes himself as a “guide from the side”. His story of going from founder and CEO of the leading chain of boutique hotels in the US, Joie de Vivre, to being essentially an intern at Airbnb and mentor to founder Brian Chesky, will be of interest to anyone feeling overwhelmed by changes in their industry, or worried about becoming irrelevant in the workplace as a result of technology or other disruptive forces shaping our world of work.
As a result of his experiences at Airbnb, and the success of his latest book “Wisdom at Work: The Making of a Modern Elder,” Chip has recently launched The Modern Elder Academy, with the tag line: Where midlife mastery is the launchpad to growing whole, not old. In our conversation he tells his story.
What was covered:
- The emergence of a 20-year irrelevancy gap in the workplace for people in midlife
- What is The Modern Elder and how companies can benefit from age diversity in the workplace
- Four key lessons for bridging the irrelevancy gap and re-establishing value of this age category: Evolve, Learn, Collaborate, Counsel
Key Learnings and Takeaways:
- How people in midlife can repurpose themselves as modern elders in order to integrate their mastery and wisdom with the digital intelligence and focus of younger generations
- Mutual mentorship – a new form of relationship where both sides are simultaneously learning from and teaching each other
- The need to regard midlife as a transition period and create modern rituals to support that transition
Links and Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
- Wisdom at Work: The Making of the Modern Elder, a book by Chip Conley
- The Modern Elders Academy
- Joie de Vivre hotels
- Burning Man
- Man’s Search for Meaning, a book by Viktor E. Frankl
- The 100-Year Life: Living and Working in an Age of Longevity, a book by Lynda Gratton and Andrew Scott
- Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life, a book by Louise Aronson
- The Restless Visionary, a book by Louisa Kasdon and Mel Zuckerman