I'm 27. Several of my employees are older than me, as is my business partner. I have an MBA and a lot of unique experience so I think I am pretty qualified to do what I do. But I still feel awkward sometimes about managing people significantly older than me and (in the case of my partner) challenging the ideas of someone older and with 13 years more experience. Have any of you been through this? How do/did you handle it?
Most of the time I don't have a problem with it. I'm the boss and I'm expected to be the final decision maker. But, when I have to hold someone accountable for a failure or I have to try to help grow develop someone, there is this voice inside my head saying "shouldn't it be the other way around?" Frankly, as those of you who have run a business know, you will learn more in a few months than most people learn in a few years. That is always the case when you are in an unfamiliar situation with a steep learning curve. But, I'm not sure if my employees see it that way. Society as a whole seems to think that wisdom comes with age, and maybe that is where these awkward moments come from. In my opinion though, wisdom comes more from an open mind, an ability to learn, and the willingess to admit to yourself when you are wrong.