I heard some “kids these days” griping last week.
I’ve had the pleasure of working with groups of high school and college-aged students these past few years.* I’ve met some real future badasses that I’m stoked to have in my network.
So let them complain.
Today’s 17-year-old eventually turns 27, and then 37, and all the while the rest of us are getting older too.
The amount of life you figure out between 17 and 27 and 37 can be a lot. Not everybody does, but the ones who do, we’ll eventually notice them.
Just like investing in new ideas, investing in new idea makers – within your network – means you had better know some smart kids.
*on business/finance-related projects, within student-led organizations. You know what I wasn’t doing in high school or college? Participating in groups like this.
Ps. I do have some understanding of my fellow old dudes and dudettes. Bob Seawright made this point recently, and I think the last sentence is a great filter when networking across generations (highlights are mine):
Although the average age of the signers of the Declaration of Independence was 44, more than a dozen of them were 35 or younger on July 4, 1776. Alexander Hamilton was 21, Aaron Burr was 20, James Madison was 25, and James Monroe was 18. Thomas Jefferson, the principal author, was 33. That this seems unfathomable today should tell us something about the consensus view on ambition, risk-taking, and our expectations for the next generation.