To football fanatics, this infamous quote would be all too familiar. The notion that organisations will never find success with pimply adolescents had backfired spectacularly on Alan Hansen, as David Beckham and co. proved that youthful energy and exuberance can be a winning formula.
As we approach our 2nd Christmas (and soon our 2nd anniversary) at Mondays Off, I took some time to look back at all the young guns that toiled tirelessly, shared our pains and frustrations, along with crazy fun and laughter. I cannot emphasize how important they were – it surely would have been much tougher without their help.
I always believed that young people were raw gems. Some needed more time to show their true potential, some just grind themselves to perfection. The fact of the matter is, we cannot discount their importance – they are the future after all. Great ideas always came about when we were kids.
Somehow the passage of time and life may shroud our thinking, creativity, alertness, ability to make good and quick decisions, and find ourselves stuck in a rut at work. In my opinion, the young ones don’t have this problem. They see things in simplicity, obstacles as exciting challenges, going forward to uncharted territories to seek experiences. They dare to try and they dare to fail. I find working with them an immense pleasure, and a wonder to set my own mind thinking about how I view life, work and challenges. We were once like that – so what’s stopping our ability to think differently and creatively?
I see it as a balance of youthful thinking vs life experience. When life’s harsh realities hit, all that creative energy is evaporated; cast aside for immediate problem solving skills required to tackle the issue at hand. Our minds start to revert to conventional thinking, as risks start to compound and the ‘dare to fail’ attitude crudely changes to ‘cannot fail’. The trick is to maintain that fine balance between Mr. Youthful Maverick and Mr. Play-It-Safe-Because-I’ve-Seen-This Before, and this is difficult for most.
I see it as a motivation to share my own life experiences to all the young staff that has been, or are with the Mondays Off family and hope it will be useful to them – while leveraging on their energy, learning their multitude of expressions, and boundless capacity to think simply. The challenge to find the balance is an never ending one.
To the young ones, thank you for showing us that life can be simple and that we can win with kids.
P.S. Brenda, Amanda, Gene, Yiwen, Sonya & eventually Shiryn, thank you for being a part of Mondays Off and sharing this exciting journey with L & myself. You all have made it so much more fun and worthwhile.