Is the relationship between age and leadership the right question? I don’t know about you, but I want effective leaders in commerce, government and not-for-profits. In some environments, that may mean a twenty something, but in others, it may mean a fifty-something. The financial challenges facing many organizations, possibly yours, would seem to underscore the need for the experience of a veteran. However, the innovation of a young, passionate creative-type may be required to cast new vision and lead the enterprise into new opportunities and lines of business. Conversely, the hot new technology developed by a passionate innovator could also demand experience to help manage growth and navigate familiar obstacles.
It is likely a cocktail of the two (or likely more) ingredients seeking the perfect blend to be effective. The responsibility of determining effectiveness rests squarely on the shoulders of owners, stakeholders, and managers to set expectations and then collaborate to find the perfect blend. Be creative and set vision, but don’t forget the responsibility to be diligent.