Thursday, April 3, 2008

New Radicals

I recently read a very interesting book called We Are The New Radicals. The premise is that there are a large number of baby boomers who, still in their working years, have become disillusioned with their careers and are looking to do something more intrinsically fulfilling. This version of a mid-life crisis is leading many 50 year olds to look into moving into social sector and charitable causes. The problem is that there aren’t a lot of nonprofit organizations that are really prepared to welcome, train, and fund these established professionals.
We accept that there is a level of sacrifice that is innate to this kind of wrok. But too often the compensation is so meager it eliminates adults with families from consideration, which seriously limits the potential for benefitting from wisdom and experience that is often in short supply.
I’m a big booster for the enthusiasm of youth and the willingness to go above and beyond the expectations they offer. I’m actually quite biased in favour of young leaders, but this book has me thinking that there is a need to find a way to bring together these two demographics.
I wonder which group would find this more difficult: The young leaders who may well be intimidated by the experience and resume of mature newcomers and feel threatened in their leadership; or the New Radicals who must accept the insight to be gained from the specific experience of committed leaders who are the peers of their children?

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