What about boomers with purpose?

03Aug09

Last week I asked how boomers should re-brand “old”  (since we are).  People under 30 view 60 as old.  If you are 40+, you are viewed as “older”.   We know the word “old” is not a sought-after adjective  in our culture.  The current popularity of the term “old school” comes to mind as an exception, but that term is used with a kind of grudging admiration. 

In truth, boomers did not set about to re-brand what it meant to be 30, 40 or 50.  It happened because there were so many boomers – boomers with appetites for experiences, for products, for knowledge, for vitality, for success – and with the wherewithal to indulge their appetites.  A significant percentage of 78 million people spending energy and money to do cool things (travel, work-out, climb the corporate ladder), buy cool things (wine, technology, second homes) and be cool in general, cannot help but be a defining force. 

This blog is about work.  Boomers re-branded the workplace in many ways. In one big way in particular – with women and the rise of the two-job family.  Now the question is, how do you make 60, 70 and even 80 cool in the workplace today?  And, why bother?   Because they can contribute way beyond what we have ever expected of old people before.  Because we need them to be different from any old people in the history of the world.

from news.cnet.com

Bartz from news.cnet.com

from Business Week

Buffett from Business Week

Warren Buffet is cool. Carol Bartz, CEO of Yahoo is cool.  Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep are cool.  All are 60+ or 70+.   But do you know about the Purpose Prize?  The winners of the Purpose Prize are “doing what society least expects people over 6o to do…” according to their website.  Check it out.  Be inspired.  Expect things from “old” people that you never expected before. It’s new school cool.

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