I want to thank Jo Caywood for this highly creative and heartfelt post. It is so very fitting given we are in the height of the holiday season. Thank-you Jo!
Virginia, we have come to that time of year again when I first learned about you and your letter asking if there was a Santa. In the years that have passed more of us than ever are now over the age of 50. In your first letter you asked if there was a Santa Claus, now you and others are asking if people can be leaders after reaching the age of 50.
Do you know many people think that after 50 a persons’ mind starts declining? They are so busy in the business of their own world and don’t realize that when people reach the age of 50 they have re-created their personal lives as well as their professional lives many times. Through the process of re-creating ourselves we find many areas of our lives enhanced in ways we never expected and have developed new leadership skills in the process.
When we look Santa Claus, who is over 50, at as an example of leadership it helps to look at all the things he does:
- he remembers almost everything about people and especially if they are naughty or nice
- he works well with others
- millions of people to follow his travels
- people everywhere respect his leadership especially when it comes to bringing joy to others and meeting a deadline
What a dreary world this would be if it were not for the older people in our lives.
Alas when people become older they sometimes have to reach back in their memories to find the magic, enthusiasm and courage to shout to the world that they are still here and have much to offer. Joining new groups may make the transitions easier and even more fun. In today’s world even I have joined new groups and have learned to use the internet, social media and various other newly created avenues to find things such as information about shopping, travel, entertainment, health, relationships, etc. From time to time I have even been surprised that others have thanked me for sharing my wisdom with them. Instead of telling them what to do I usually feel it is best to find a way to encourage others to ask questions about themselves to determine what they want to achieve and then ask if they have a plan to make that happen.
Virginia, most people over 50 use personal leadership skills as well as the leadership skills they acquired in business or even in spiritual endeavors. Women and men both use leadership skills in their hobbies, starting new businesses or jobs, developing plans to maintain and enhance their health as well as relationships, etc.
When we are older we know that leadership shows up in many different ways. The examples can vary person to person. We may offer to take our pets and share them and ourselves with others who may be lonely or just enjoy animals. Many of us also offer to share the joy of pets with students and/or others who may have a lot of stress in their lives, some of us also share our personal skills with those who are struggling in life or in jobs.
Sometimes, Virginia, we are very creative and add our own spin on how to get things done. I would encourage you to read Dr. Gene Cohen’s books The Creative Age and The Mature Mind. He gives many examples of how older people accomplish tasks that others may view as impossible. One example explains how one snowy day his wife’s parents were trapped in a snow storm and could not find transportation to Dr. Cohen’s house. They developed a true example of creative leadership and found the resource they needed in the form of an open pizza parlor. They ordered a pizza, asked the delivery person to deliver them along with the pizza and arrived at their destination.
As with most things, life is re-created to fill a need or desire. What would this world be like without older leaders such as Ghandi, Mother Teresa, Santa Claus, Nelson Mandela, Dr. Andrew Weil, Oprah Winfrey, Hogwarts’ Headmaster Albus Dumbledore, President George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, etc?
To have no leaders over the age of 50 would certainly be boring. The real trick is to have leaders more like Santa. Santa has many and various types of employees that work and live well together. He has a personal following throughout the world who come together in various types of celebrations. Santa is also willing to share ideas and solutions in order to creatively meet his goal of bringing joy into the lives of others.
I hope in the future we will all learn from Santa and lead by example, work well together and bring joy to not only our corner of the world but to the entire world.
About the Author:
Jo is a re-creation specialist. She has experienced many opportunities to re-create her own life. She now shares tips with others and helps them answer the questions to help them Thrive in the next life stage. She can be found at www.re-creationstation.com/about