Five things I’m pretty sure that I’m not sure about

I’m getting older. That’s a good thing, mind you. It certainly beats the alternative.

But as I get older, I seem to be less sure about a number of things.

  1. Motivation. I once held the view that great teams were motivated by fantastic leaders. Great leaders are still key, but I’m not so sure that motivation flows down as much as I used to believe. Self-motivators seem to carry the day, and it makes sense to me. Even the best motivating leaders can’t be everywhere all the time.
  2. The role of luck. Hard work equals success, right? I’m not as sure as I get older. Hard work surely minimizes risk and maximizes the chances of success. I’m wondering more and more, though, about the role of chance and randomness in how things turn out.
  3. What was old becomes new. I used to be a journalist. For the past umpteen years, there’s been a raging debate about how best to save the newspaper industry. I used to think that all you had to do was simply to make a better newspaper. Give them the product from the golden ages of journalism. That would bring them back. Now I’m not so sure. Consumers sometimes shift their demands. They very well may want a rough version of new than a perfect version of old.
  4. The future isn’t what it used to be. There’s always a debate on what’s better: the future or the past. I’m not sure there’s a clear answer. Every change seems to make winners and losers. People romanticize the past, or the focus on past losses. People fear the future, or they yearn for it. Me? I think the best bet is to look back to help you prepare for what’s around the bend. And to buckle up for the ride. It isn’t a kind ride for everyone.
  5. The designated hitter. I grew up following the National League, and I was a fervent believer the purity of the Senior Circuit. For those who don’t know, the National League makes their pitchers bat. The American League allows for a designated hitter. This allows some old player who can’t run as well to stick around a few more years. As I get older, I don’t see as much as a problem in that anymore…

All in all, the older I get, the fewer absolutes I see. Things that seemed iron-clad, have become more flexible through the years, and I detect more and more shades of gray. Even in the mirror.

Anthony Demangone

Anthony Demangone

Anthony Demangone is executive vice president and chief operating officer at the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU). Demangone oversees day-to-day operations and manages the association’s education, membership, ... Web: Details