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February 15, 2007


I have a hard time accepting that this kind of bias against younger generations is going unchallenged:

As our younger members step up to leadership roles, they often do so in the same manner they are living their lives: "I want it now and on my terms." The fast rise to power is making our jobs even more difficult because our leaders are not coming with the experience and knowledge to know how to make the right choices. I'm sure this is a gross over-generalization, but many may not even know what the responsibilities of a board member are.
This statement appeared on ASAE's ExecSec listserv yesterday. I sincerely hope that the dearth of replies to it indicates that this is not a widely held assumption. These generational prejudices can only exacerbate the problems that many associations are facing in engaging their younger constituents.

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Jamie Notter said...

Amen, Ben. I thought your response on the listserve was well said. I'm usually speechless when stuff like that comes out. But I feel bad that I didn't say anything.

Ben Martin, CAE said...

Thanks, J-Nott. That's actually my first ever post to the ExecSec listserv. I think I've been lurking there for about 3 years now. I tried to make a good first impression.

Mary Ghikas said...

Actually, if you read Beck and Wade -- or many of the others writing about the "gamer" generation -- one of the points they make is that staff (often young) coming in with a lot of experience in rich, interactive gaming environments have made thousands of decisions and dealt with the consequences of those decisions. They note that that is, in fact, very useful experience for a young executive. It is about weighing options, making choices and dealing with the consequences of choices -- and young association executives often bring a very sophisticated, practiced skill.

greg said...


Great comment. Thanks for stepping up. It is clear, and not a surprise, that the generational issue is going to become a bigger and bigger problem for all associations.