Mar 17, 201412:25 PMMind Your Business
with Corey Chambas
The benefits of being a graybeard
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I recently grew a beard for the first time since my freshman year in college. Back when I was 18, it was dark. This time it came in salt and pepper — okay, mainly salt. So I’m literally a graybeard. I’m sure you’ve heard the term. Someone experienced, seasoned, been around the block. It’s not all good getting old — just ask my achy knee, hip, or shoulder — but there are some benefits to being a graybeard.
By definition, it means you’ve been around for a while. Which also means — assuming you haven’t been a jerk — that you’ve built relationships. And there’s real value in those relationships and the network you’ve built.
First, there’s a great opportunity to leverage your network for business development purposes. Over the years, you’ve no doubt done this as you’ve built your own career and book of business. However, as an individual becomes more seasoned, there’s often an issue with time. When people are young and working on business development, they have time but no contacts. But when they’re experienced (my definition: the opposite of young), they have contacts, but because of other responsibilities they likely have no time for business development.
Smart organizations and people recognize this issue and come up with solutions. One example of this comes from a seminar speaker we had, Wayne Breitbarth, who talked about utilizing LinkedIn for this very purpose. It allows young coworkers to leverage the experience and network of their more senior counterparts. (There’s a very good podcast on this at our website if you’d like to learn more about that.)