7 April 2022 By Guest writer Ian White
You might, of course, think I am joking but that is the age of the oldest Chair of a listed company (in fact, he is Chair of two companies so is clear pretty busy). And Frances Hesselbein, an associate of the late business guru Peter Drucker, is still serving as a Non-Executive Director at 106! So if you are coming to the end of your Executive career and think the bulk of your working life is over you might like to think again.
Drucker is an insightful example to anyone thinking about the next stage of their career and, indeed, life. He started out working in manufacturing, became a journalist, then an economist (picking up a doctorate in international law on the way) and finally a business academic. In his seminal work Managing Oneself (1) Drucker highlighted that “At forty-five most executives have reached the peak of their business career and know it. After twenty years of doing very much the same kind of work, they are good at doing their jobs . But few are learning anything anymore.” We can argue about actual ages – and Managing Oneself was written some time ago in which time the world has changed but the principle remains the same. Indeed, one of the Chairs for whom I undertake Board Effectiveness Reviews for, has spent nearly as long as a Non-Executive Director as he did as an Executive and he is not yet 70. Do the math as the say!
So I wanted to give you a few insights about moving from an Executive to a second, parallel career:
So I wish you all the best in embarking on your second career and I hope you have as much fun as I have had!