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Wisdom at Work: The Making of a Modern Elder

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  164 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Experience is making a comeback. Learn how to repurpose your wisdom.

At age 52, after selling the company he founded and ran as CEO for 24 years, rebel boutique hotelier Chip Conley was looking at an open horizon in midlife. Then he received a call from the young founders of Airbnb, asking him to help grow their disruptive start-up into a global hospitality giant. He had th
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 18th 2018 by Currency
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3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  164 ratings  ·  27 reviews

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Tara Brabazon
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a fascinating and surprising book. This is an intricate and intriguing 'rebooting' for new and older workers. Noting that the conventional pathway - education, work, retirement - is now redundant, how can we create new models for learning, working and living?

Some great strategies and models are offered in this book. It is a book of 're-visioning' and provides new modes and methods to summon a different type of workforce, and a different type of worker.

Recommended. Fascinating.
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received this one for review from NetGalley.

Wisdom at Work provides invaluable insights for professionals at any age. Chip Conley discusses his time working with Airbnb as both an advisor and intern and how he had to overcome the severe dichotomy that exists between "millennials" and "baby boomers". He argues that we need to bring back the idea of mentors in order to overcome some of the ageism that exists in the workplace and I have to agree with him. In order for younger generations to thri
Jenn "JR"
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biz-leadership
Chip Conley's first hand experiences were fascinating and fun to read. He skillfully intertwines his observations with information from readings on happiness, aging, workplace engagement and success and accounts from other professionals who also reinvented themselves after mid-life.

Keeping a beginner's mind, or attitude of lifelong learning, is key to successfully aging. As Chip points out - we have more older people than ever before - people are living longer PLUS the Boomers were a pretty big
May 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, business
This starts off as the title would suggest, describing older workers as mentors to other employees based on their extensive experience. That covers the first half of the book. The last half is a traditional how to find a job when you are older book. I’ve read lots of those, and this is just another one. While the first part was somewhat unique, and of personal interest, there wasn’t much there that I found of personal value. The author uses his own experience, relating many anecdotes of his care ...more
Bob Wilson
Jun 30, 2019 rated it did not like it
Another MBA, another business book. It was probably a decent article that just got padded with anecdotes about how wonderful the author is and quotes from famous people. I only finished it because my book club wanted to discuss it. Save your time.
Damien Valenti
Sep 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Pretty well-written. Focus a little too much on what elders can do and not enough on how to tap talents of elders.
Nov 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: baby-boomers
"The word retirement derives from the Middle french language meaning to go off into seclusion."

"32% of the workforce in 2012 was fifty or older."

"Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is your power to choose your response. In your response lies your growth and your freedom."

"There are three peaks in life: physical, in your early twenties; economic, in your forties and fifties, and human, which happens later in life."

"Think of yourself as a sundial. In the morning, as the
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
"Are you sure you want to work again?" "It looks like you've been an entrepreneur before but it may not have worked out. How can we be sure you're truly committed to us if we hire you?"

If you are middle-aged and have fielded these questions in a job interview, this book is for you! (PS: I've never been asked if I'm an "entrepreneur.")

Here's the sentence that sums the book up: "If there's one quality I believe defines wisdom in the workplace more than any other, it is the capacity of holistic or
I liked the theoretical aspect of the book that an older person like myself could continue my working life by serving as a mentor using my experience and skills that I have gained over the years. I liked the concept that there are companies and management actively seeking people in their 50s and 60s to help guide their younger employees and managers. The author is a successful CEO and my guess is that his experience in attracting opportunities for projects and work would be much higher than mine ...more
Tom Scott
Dec 09, 2018 rated it liked it
I heard Chip on NPR and he seemed to a pretty inspiring guy, so what the heck, I made the impulse purchase. The overarching idea, I guess, is it's valuable to develop and nurture strong cross-generational connections. Old people can provide advice and guidance to younger people, and younger people can teach old people new skills. Though the focus of this book is on business the same concept extends to our social and emotional needs. Great premise. I'm onboard. But the book soon really, really de ...more
Daniel Standage
Aug 17, 2019 rated it liked it
The author has some really good insights into the value that experience and emotional intelligence brings into the workplace, and how a deliberate “modern elder” can cultivate these. In other places, it seems like the author is talking only to tech-illiterate 60-somethings surrounded by 22 year olds in tech startups. I didn’t expect to relate with all the content in this book since I’m still in my 30s, but a lot of this is unlikely to ever be relevant for me.

It’s a mix of solid ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ content a
Sue Ronnenkamp
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Extremely interesting book and one I’d recommend for anyone seeking ideas for fit and purpose pre-retirement and beyond. This book was also a reminder that I can always learn something new about growing older WELL - even with all the many years I’ve spent researching and living this experience myself, along with all my role models and the awesome elder trailblazers I’ve been privileged to meet and know. Planning to go back over all the sections of the books I highlighted and marked - and will ke ...more
Kumar Raghavendra
Jul 20, 2019 rated it liked it
While Chip has the premise that all elders are wise, I think he probably doesn't mean that and instead advises everyone to grow wise as they grow old so that they can continue to add value to the economy, continue to learn new skills, continue to help those around and make positive change. A key takeaway for me is that I'm likely to live another seventy years (like most people in my generation), and that I'll likely be active in the economy for fifty to sixty of those years. That's a long career ...more
Michelle Muellner
Jul 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I listened to this on audible and it was read by Chip Conley himself which I really appreciated. I was so inspired by this book that I turned around and listened to it a second time! The topic is so relevant to our society today as we have a never seen before elder population continue to work, contribute and be active well into old age. We need to focus more on the incredible possibilities of having our wise contributors be included more creatively into our work environment. Highly recommend!
Paulo Reimann
Nov 01, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

Waste of time. Rip of in various senses : financialy meant wasting money, still financialy even for free is horrendous, time wise, the title, preamble, even WSJ'S article, misleads to something different. Has nothing ado with age, aging, or life style. Pure babble, mumbo jumbo hipster stuff. The writer is not even old. Middle aged at most. I would love to use more pictorial words to describe the book. I just don't want to be censored. I guess I deserve my money back.
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
I found parts of this book to be fairly repetitive, especially in the early chapters, but I'm giving it four stars because I found valuable insights in this book and I'm sure I'll be returning to it as I head into my own years of becoming a Modern Elder. There's a lot of work to be done in combating ageism in the workplace and valuing the contributions of older workers!
Jim Peplinski
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
A great read to get inspired if you are over 50, have retired once and perhaps more impactful for youth entering the workforce.

Consider your perspectives.
Open your mind.
Create a workplan to achieve your next objective.
Authors personal journey - lots of good quotes and a few good stories.

Here is the magic - At the end of the book, the Author did a wonderful job of providing additional resources to continue the reader's quest. This is the best job of "after book" resources I have ever seen.
Rick Davis
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a book that anyone over the age of 50 should read. Especially those who are checked out of life and think that retirement is the end all. Employers and younger bosses should also read this book and ask themselves if they consciously or unconsciously harbor a bias towards older workers.
Bill Yeadon
Nov 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Loved all of Chips books and this one was no different.
Bernie Anderson
Dec 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an important book.

Particularly important for anyone who is facing mid-life career change. I wish I'd read this 5 years ago (but then, it wouldn't have been written, yet!)
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great to hear the author! This book is good for ages 32 (those older than average age of new unicorn companies) to 80+. Great quotes to ponder too.
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: culture
Terrific addition to the growing genre of books for boomers contemplating the final (many) decades of their lives. Strikes a good balance between practical, inspirational, and California woowoo.
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Loved it! Full of great nuggets to think about near midlife/mid-career and beyond.
Hampus Jakobsson
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really loved Chip's talk on LongNow and he adds more in this book, but I found it 10% too repetitive.
Jul 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good idea but I don’t think you need an entire book to explain it.
Papa Degz
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Spot on “Ancora Imparo”
Todd Kashdan
rated it it was amazing
Oct 03, 2018
Olaf Groth
rated it it was amazing
Aug 07, 2018
Enrique Valdes
rated it really liked it
Oct 22, 2018
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At the age of 26, Chip Conley started his own hospitality company, Joie de Vivre (JDV), and, as CEO for two-dozen years, expanded it into a collection of over 35 award-winning hotels, restaurants and spas – the second largest boutique hotel company in the U.S. The bestselling author of PEAK, Chip is a veteran practitioner of emotional intelligence in business and in his latest book, EMOTIONAL EQUA ...more
“He summarizes his approach to change in this simple phrase (inspired by Aristotle’s “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”): “We are what we practice and we’re always practicing something. Thus, to make changes we need to practice something new and different.” 0 likes
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