Heard in a coffee shop this week...
Me: Yeah, but he's a 29 year old kid, so that's pretty good.
Client: Really? What did you expect?
Me: What do you mean?
Client: Well, what you're outlining isn't that special, is it? After all, what were you doing when you were 29?
The point to the conversation was really centered around what the world expects out of kids in their late 20's in the workplace. I was referring to the late 20's person who was working for the client. He was a good, not great performer, and I was telling the client it was OK because he was 29. There's still time for him to be great.
Except there isn't.
The client wasn't having any of that. She has a high expectation, and knowing me a little bit, felt comfortable in providing the contrast and pushing back by saying, "what were you doing when you were 29?"
Ugh. She was right.
You're going to know if someone is promotable 2+ levels in your company by the time they're 29. You'll also know if they are capable of running your freaking company someday.
You'll know it because it will be in front of you. They'll have the presence, command and creativity to separate themselves from the pack.
They'll be able to fake it until they make it when you put them in jobs they don't have the ability to do. The people around them will believe they belong until their knowledge and skill catches up.
Making more buses run on time or handling more transactions? Good performance. Not great performance.
The late 20's person who is promotable 2+ levels in your company has already shown it by the time they hit 28 or 29. Don't kid yourself into believing that more age and experience is going to make them more promotable than they are today. The stuff that makes them promotable 2+ levels has nothing to do with more age and experience.
It's in their DNA. You know it by the time they're 29.
Players play, ballers ball. Regardless of age.