More Accounting Tomorrow Posts

Age ain't nothin' but a number - at least for young managers

August 26, 2010

Dear Rebecca,

I’ve just been promoted to manager. I’m 29. Some of my team members are older than me. Any advice on managing folks who are (in one case) twice my age?


Managing Up

Dear Up,

You are not alone! Managing people older than you is a very hot topic.

The key to handling this sitch is to ignore anyone’s age, and focus on two R-words: respect and results.

Yes, you’re younger than some of the folks on your team. You may also be more slender, left-handed, or a bigger fan of American Idol. None of that matters. What matters is that you treat everyone - regardless of their age or reality TV habits - with respect. If you start with respect-for-all, you’re going to be a great manager.

Next, you want results. So long as people are performing and pulling their weight, you don’t care if they’re green or have three heads.

Respect and results. The rest - as they say - is just a number.

Rebecca Ryan is a consultant who helps firms develop and keep their top talent.

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