I had a great time at the movies on Saturday night watching the film The Intern. Sitting there eating a “double choc top” I was struck by three things, and not just the calories, that really resonated for me.
Firstly the power of putting others first –At age of 70, Ben the intern had nothing to prove; all he was doing was trying to fill the later stages of his life with something useful for which he felt valued. The impact of this was fascinating, he found himself naturally supporting and encouraging others to do things they didn’t think possible by building their confidence in a quiet unassuming way.
Secondly, the impact of presence - against a sea of activity and noise, this elder statesman provided an island of tranquillity to which others could come. It wasn’t rushed, or squashed between two meetings and a sandwich. More to the point it was his presence that created the air of calmness and an atmosphere that was less frantic than the chaos he saw going on around him.
Finally, it is the importance of an individual having the opportunity to give back and feel valued. Older folk often have more wisdom and experience. It means that more often they are more interested in how they can share the knowledge and experience gained with others and as a result feel valued for the contribution they have made. In the movie it’s not all about being a mentor, it’s much more than that.
Movie or reality? Barclays Bank in the UK recently announced plans for a new scheme for new apprentices for which the eligibility criteria was that one had to be over 50 to join!