Wisdom at Work: The Making of a Modern Elder (Hardcover)
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Experience is making a comeback. Learn how to repurpose your wisdom.
At age 52, after selling the company he founded and ran as CEO for 24 years, rebel boutique hotelier Chip Conley was looking at an open horizon in midlife. Then he received a call from the young founders of Airbnb, asking him to help grow their disruptive start-up into a global hospitality giant. He had the industry experience, but Conley was lacking in the digital fluency of his 20-something colleagues. He didn't write code, or have an Uber or Lyft app on his phone, was twice the age of the average Airbnb employee, and would be reporting to a CEO young enough to be his son. Conley quickly discovered that while he'd been hired as a teacher and mentor, he was also in many ways a student and intern. What emerged is the secret to thriving as a mid-life worker: learning to marry wisdom and experience with curiosity, a beginner's mind, and a willingness to evolve, all hallmarks of the "Modern Elder."
In a world that venerates the new, bright, and shiny, many of us are left feeling invisible, undervalued, and threatened by the "digital natives" nipping at our heels. But Conley argues that experience is on the brink of a comeback. Because at a time when power is shifting younger, companies are finally waking up to the value of the humility, emotional intelligence, and wisdom that come with age. And while digital skills might have only the shelf life of the latest fad or gadget, the human skills that mid-career workers possess--like good judgment, specialized knowledge, and the ability to collaborate and coach - never expire.
Part manifesto and part playbook, Wisdom@Work ignites an urgent conversation about ageism in the workplace, calling on us to treat age as we would other type of diversity. In the process, Conley liberates the term "elder" from the stigma of "elderly," and inspires us to embrace wisdom as a path to growing whole, not old. Whether you've been forced to make a mid-career change, are choosing to work past retirement age, or are struggling to keep up with the millennials rising up the ranks, Wisdom@Work will help you write your next chapter.
About the Author
Bestselling author and hospitality entrepreneur Chip Conley is Strategic Advisor at Airbnb. At age 26, he founded Joie de Vivre Hospitality and turned it into the second largest boutique hotel brand in the world. After selling his company in 2010, he joined Airbnb, and as head of Global Hospitality and Strategy, helped turn it into the world's largest hospitality brand. Conley has received hospitality's highest honor, the Pioneer Award. He serves on the boards of the Burning Man Project and the Esalen Institute and is the author of Peak and the New York Times bestseller Emotional Equations. He holds a BA and MBA from Stanford University.
"Anyone feeling jaded, jejune or just plain past it at work can read this book in a morning and feel revived.”- The Financial Times
"This is ultimately a book about how we can develop deeper connections, disrupt how we think about teaching and learning, and make more meaningful contributions in our lives and our careers. With stories, questions, and strategies, Chip shares his heart and wisdom on every page. This is exactly what we need right now! "- Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW, Author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller, Braving the Wilderness
“An engaging, timely exploration of how to bring more wisdom into our work lives. Chip Conley has lived it, and here he teaches you what it takes to find more of it.” – Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Originals, Give and Take, and Option B with Sheryl Sandberg
"Being smart comes from studying or understanding complex things, yet wisdom is something deeper. We don’t become wise simply because we get old, wisdom is something we must actively cultivate in order to accumulate. Every one of us should learn what it takes to gain wisdom, and Chip Conley is the wise guide for our journey." -Simon Sinek. Optimist and Best Selling Author of Start With Why and Leaders Eat Last
“I love the idea that society needs more Modern Elders who offer generosity without an agenda. Chip Conley's articulation of the growing need of wisdom and emotional intelligence in a world obsessed with speed and digital intelligence is spot-on! Every young company could use some 'wisdom insurance'." Marshall Goldsmith, Thinkers 50 World’s #1 Executive Coach, #6 Most Influential Business Thinker 2017
"Wisdom at Work beautifully illustrates the opportunity that each of us has to embark on an encore career. Bravo to Chip Conley for writing this timely and inspiring book. Having begun my third chapter at the age of 60, I can attest that this is the most productive and rewarding time of my life. Applying one’s knowledge and passion in the service of missions larger than ourselves is the greatest gift of being a Perennial." - Sherry Lansing, Founder & CEO, the Sherry Lansing Foundation, Former Chairman & CEO, Paramount Pictures
“In an era in which a brilliant idea or even gut instinct seems to be celebrated as success, Chip Conley’s book is a great reminder that wisdom, including analysis, hard work, patience and the like, is still essential.” – Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International
"Chip Conley embodies the generosity, insight and spirit of an elder. He understands that it's not an age, it's a state of mind, and he shares his wisdom here with all of us. Precisely the sort of long-game thinking we need today." -Seth Godin, Co-author, Business Rules of Thumb