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Thoughts During a Pandemic

I was in Cheltenham, UK (hence the rugby pic) when I first heard the news about COVID-19, working on a project with one colleague from Chicago and one local.  As we sat in the lounge at the hotel sipping whiskey, little did we know what was about to unfold, and how Earth shattering this virus would be.

I write this on April 13, 2020, otherwise known this year as Easter Monday and the major thoughts occupying my mind are:

  • How can something like this happen?

  • How will we move forward after this?

  • How do I use this opportunity to get laser focused on myself and my contributions?

I created Sage Warrior Gentleman as a means to both explore myself as an older man and to help guide others in doing the same.  I have a lot of younger guy friends and most seek my advice in some way or another.  

Because I’m a designer and researcher in my full-time day job, I tend to ask a lot of questions and give advice only when asked, and only as directed by the answers I get from the questions that I ask. By day I lead teams in business process research exercises that get to the root of the problem faced, and then I design software or process solutions with my team.  This opens up the possibility for discussion on fixes and solutions.

We can do the same now.  I’m not suggesting that we’re going to save the world by conquering COVID-19 - although some of us certainly will contribute greatly to that.

What I’m suggesting is that we use this time to really look deeply at our vast pool of knowledge gained throughout the years of work we’ve experienced.  Make notes on it all and start to see where the patterns are.  Create a Mindmap (get a free version of my favorite one here:  https://simplemind.eu/download/free-edition/  ) to start making sense of all of it.

Maybe your career has been very focused - that means you have deep knowledge of a specific subject matter.

Maybe like me your career has been varied, across a few industries - that means you have a broad perspective of many subject areas.

Either way you’ve been around for a while.  You've seen trends come and go.  You have vast amounts of knowledge and wisdom that you can share with younger men so that they can learn and grow in a positive direction.

And it doesn’t matter in the least what kind of work you’ve done all your life.  Young men are coming up with little guidance on how to be better men, kinder men, focused men.

You - as a Sage, as a Warrior, as a Gentleman - can help guide the next generation of men coming in to take over for us.  These are our sons, nephews, grandsons, friends, coworkers, and some may even be our bosses.

All I ask is that you give some thought to this.  The Pandemic is here and it’s now a major fact of life - there’s no dodging it, and the world will be forever changed by it.  

Us older dudes can make a difference if we care to.  I’m raising my hand.  Care to join me?


Stay healthy,

Jeff

Modern Man. Classic Manners.

Photo by Sean Stratton on Unsplash

Being a man in the 21st century can be a complicated thing for us older guys.  The young guns are coming up in the world - some becoming billionaires in their 30s - and whether you have money or not, one thing is certain, classic manners will never go out of style, and can set you apart from the herd.

Lions like us, men who have been around, done a lot of things, made mistakes and got better with each lesson learned, have an advantage over younger guys with big degrees but no social skills.  And this isn’t confined to the business world.  We’re being judged and sized-up with every interaction we have, and falling back on what we learned as kids, back in the age where minding your manners was key, is a positive thing.
 
So what am I referring to?  Holding the door for people.  Saying thank you and being sincere about it.  Treating service staff of any kind with respect.  Asking about people with the intent of really getting to know and understand them.  Showing compassion.
 
All of these are traits that I believe the modern sage, warrior, and gentleman needs to possess and practice regularly.  They shouldn’t even be things you think about, they should be ingrained in you, in who you are, and in how you behave every day.
 
Things get rough sometimes, I know, believe me I know.  But we have to rise above that and get stronger all the time.  We have value that a lot of younger people in the world don’t understand.  A lot of companies won’t talk to you because their mandate is generally to get the youngest, cheapest talent they can.  
 
But you and I can come to the rescue of many younger people, younger men especially, and many companies.  
 
The world needs a return to manners and compassion.  Us guys over 50 can help usher this back in if we believe we can and if we try.  I’m giving it my best shot every day, in the way I talk to and mentor younger guys.  Sometimes the opportunities fall right in your lap, other times you have to seek them out, and provide the open space for that young buck to trust you and ask you things.  They’re eager to learn – well a lot of them are.
 
You have to admit that when you were 20, 30, 40 – you didn’t want to listen to anybody.  I’m raising my hand really high right now!  I thought I knew it all.  But… I had some really great mentors and although I was stubborn, some of the lessons I thought I’d never need, are with me now and have opened may possibilities for me, as I’m sure some have for you too.
 
Go to it my fellow SWG,
Jeff
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