Entrepreneurship has never been for the faint of heart, and over the past decade radical shifts in government policy, the financial world, and technology (particularly how we communicate) have presented even more challenges — and opportunities for entrepreneurs. In fact, have you noticed? Entrepreneurs are getting younger and younger these days. It’s not at all uncommon to see entrepreneurs in college, high school, and even younger.
In a recent post we asked if we are witnessing a youth movement in sustainable leadership?
“Eight of the 42 technology and Internet companies that held initial public offerings in the U.S. in 2011 were led by CEOs who were under 40 at the time…Their ascension is airing anew arguments about the value of youth in corporate decision-making. The debate typically pits the benefits of creativity and familiarity with emerging technologies against the need for disciplined decision making and experience dealing with hard times.” ~ Young CEOs: Are They Up to the Job?
Leveraging our own sustainability consulting perspective on the subject, we revisited some our most recent posts on the leadership topic. What we find is that our own research tends to correlate with the ‘youth’ trend. The post, Three Executive Mindsets that Propel Sustainable Innovation cites curiosity, experimentation and engagement as leading qualities of sustainable leadership. Defined less by years of experience and more by a curious and innovative mindset, tomorrow’s leaders appear very different from their predecessors.
“Age matters less and less. Skills, passion, intense curiosity and extremely high IQ are more important.” -James W. Breyer, a director of Facebook who works closely with Mr. Zuckerberg
The post, 10 Reasons Entrepreneurs Keep Getting Younger reaffirms these findings citing, "rather than searching for a job, are youth are creating jobs for themselves, ones that they actually like. So many have decided that corporate America just isn’t for them, instead choosing to pursue a life that’s more challenging and flexible, with a work-life balance that they can define all on their own.
As a sustainability leader, it's imperative to communicate and demonstrate personal and corporate sustainability at all levels - including your energy, thoughts, expressions around eco awareness and business sustainability. These qualities are not defined by age. Emphasizing the importance of sustainability in business, community, and personal lives to employees expands well beyond the boundaries of the business. Our sustainability consulting believes that true leaders connect and actively engage others in a common and mutually defined purpose and our youth is paving the way to a greener future.