A time comes when all of us have to face that “final curtain,” as Frank Sinatra put it. But why should communications leaders worry about this, if they are doing a good job? After all, there are innumerable examples of high profile people who have performed superbly, well beyond the age when others think of hanging up their boots. Winston Churchill was 66 when he took over as Britain’s prime minister in the Second World War. Fifty-seven-year-old captain Chesley Sullenberger landed a US Airways A320 Airbus in the Hudson River in January this year, saving 155 lives. (Had the incident happened a few years ago, he could have already been compulsorily retired). Does anyone really need to be persuaded that older employees can perform superbly in moments of crisis?
Long term perspectives
Chris Ball is a specialist in employee relations and currently chief executive of TAEN – The Age and Employment Network. He is a member of the Central Arbitration Committee, a chartered fellow of the CIPD, and he holds a doctorate in industrial relations from the London School of Economics. Ball has worked as a freelance journalist, writing for the Evening Standard, the Guardian and various other papers, mostly on work issues.