Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Which Decade Are You In?

I've known people who have never left the Sixties. Throw out a foreign policy question and they immediately think it's another Vietnam. Their parents kept an eye out for another Munich and never lost the scars of the Great Depression.

I have to remind myself that my deeply embedded assumptions about how much a house or a car or a bottle of wine should cost were formed in another day. Whenever I hear the salary expectations of people who have just graduated from college, my blood pressure orders me to go into another room and stare at the ceiling.

A related problem is when we let something that took place in our career 20 or 30 years ago shape our attitudes today even though there is no logical basis for those conclusions. Just because a door was closed - or open - in the past does not mean it will remain so. Each day, the world is both new and the same.

We may be navigating with outdated maps.

1 comment:

Dan said...

Boy Michael, does this ring true. My workplace has a number of long-experienced individuals who seem to perceive that what happened to them 20 years ago is equally relevant and applicable as what happened to them 20 minutes ago. Change of this sort of culture, as I have found in 6 years as a manager of this group, is slow at best, if not impossible -- except by outlasting some of them to retirement!