Airbnb, TED, Laura Hughes discussed on TED Talks Daily
This Ted talk features, hospitals, entrepreneur, and author chip Conley recorded live at Ted salon, Verizon twenty eighteen. This TED talks daily episode is brought to you by Mariot hotels. Discover what happens when ideas have a place to grow together Mary at hotels and Ted are inspiring new perspectives through curated. TED talks available at Mariot hotels around the world stream talks and other original Ted content on your favorite devices and spark your next big idea while on the road. It was my third day on the job at a hot Silicon Valley startup. In early two thousand thirteen. I was twice the age of the dozen engineers in the room. I've been brought into the company because I was a seasoned expert in my field. But in this particular room, I felt like a newbie amongst the tech geniuses. I was listening to them talk and thinking, the best thing I could do was be invisible. And then suddenly the twenty five year old wizard leading the meeting stared at me and asked if you ship to feature and no one used it, did it really ship. Ship a feature in that moment. Chip knew he was in deep ship. I had no idea what he was talking about. I just sat there awkwardly and Mercifully. He moved onto someone else. I slid down in my chair and I couldn't wait for that meeting to end. That was my introduction to Airbnb. I was asked and invited by the three millennial co-founders to join their company to help them take their fast growing tech startup and turn it into a global hospitality brand as well as to be the in house mentor for CEO Brian chessy. Now I'd spent from age twenty six to fifty to being a boutique hotel entrepreneur. And so I guess I learned a few things along the way and accumulated some hospitality knowledge. But after my first week I realized that the brave new home sharing world didn't need much of my old school bricks and mortar hotel insights. A stark reality rocked me. What do I have to offer. I don't. I never been in tech company before five and a half years ago. I had never heard of the sharing economy, nor did I have an Uber or lift app on my phone. This was not my natural habitat. So I decided at that moment that I could either run for the hills or cast judgment on these young geniuses, or instead turn the judgment into curiosity and actually see if I could match my wise is with their fresh eyes. I fancied myself a modern Margaret need amongst them Eleni ELS. And I quickly learned that I had as much to offer them as they did to me the more I have seen and learned about our respective generations. The more I realize that we often don't trust each other Nuff to actually share our respective wisdom. We may share a border, but we don't necessarily trust each other enough to share that respective wisdom. I believe looking at the modern workplace, the. That trade agreement of our time is opening up these intergenerational pipelines of wisdom so that we can all learn from each other forty percent of us. Almost forty percent of us in this in the United States have a boss that's younger than us. And that number is growing quickly. Power is cascading to the young like never before because of our increasing reliance on d q. digital intelligence. We're seeing young founders of companies in their early twenties scale them up to global giants. By the time they get to thirty. And yet we expect these young digital leaders to somehow miraculously embody the relationship was Dems. We older workers have had decades to learn. It's hard to microwave, your emotional intelligence. There's ample evidence that gender an f.. Ethnically diverse companies are more effective, but what about age? This is a very important question because for the first time ever we have five generations in the workplace at the same time unintentionally, maybe it's time we got a little bit more intentional about how we worked collectively. There have been a number of European studies that have shown that age, diverse teams are more effective and successful. So why is it that only eight percent of the companies that have that have a diversity and inclusion program have actually expanded that strategy to include age as just as important of a demographic as gender or race. Maybe they didn't get the memo. The world is getting older. One of the pair of paradoxes are times as baby boomers are more vibrant and healthy longer into life. We're actually working later into life, and yet we're feeling less and less relevant. Some of us feel like a carton of milk and old carton of milk with an expiration date stamped on our wrinkled foreheads for many of us. In midlife, this isn't just a feeling. It is a harsh reality when we suddenly lose our job and the phone stops ringing for. Many of us justifiably. We worry that people see our experience as a liability, not an asset. You've heard of the old phrase or maybe the relatively new phrase sixty is the new forty physically right? When it comes to power in the workplace. Today. Thirty is the new fifty. All right. Well, this is pretty exciting, right? Truthfully power is moving ten years younger. We're all gonna live ten years longer do the math society has created a new twenty year irrelevancy gap midlife used to be forty five to sixty five. But I would suggest that now stretches into a midlife marathon forty years long from thirty five to seventy five. But wait, there is a bright spot. Why is it that we actually get smarter and wiser about our humanity? As we age our physical pique, maybe our twenties, our financial and salary peak, maybe age fifty, but are emotional. A peak is in midlife and beyond because we have developed pattern recognition about ourselves and others. So how can we get companies to tap into that wisdom of the midlife folks just as they nurture their digital. A young geniuses as well. The most successful companies today and in the future will actually learn how to create a powerful alchemy of the two. Here's how the outcome worked for me at Airbnb. I was assigned a young smart partner who helped me develop a hospitality department early on Laura Hughes could see that I was a little lost in this habitat. So she often sat right next to me in meetings so she could be my tech translator, and I could write her notes and she could tell me that's what that means. Laura was twenty seven years old. She works for Google for four years, and then for a year and a half at Airbnb, when I met her like many millennial of her cohorts, she had actually grown into a managerial role before she'd gotten any formal leadership training. I don't care if you're in the BBC world. The beat a SeaWorld SeaWorld are the eight zero world businesses fundamentally h. two h.. Human to human. And yet Laura's approach to leadership was really formed in the technocratic world, and it was purely metric driven. One of the things you said to me in the first few months is I love the fact that your approach to leadership is to create a compelling vision. The becomes a northstar for us. Now my fact knowledge as in how many rooms made cleans in an eight hour shift might not be all that important in a home sharing world, my process knowledge of how do you get things done based upon understanding the underlying motivations of everybody in the room was incredibly valuable in a company where most people didn't have a lot of organizational experience. As I spent more time at Airbnb, I realized it's possible a new kind of elder was emerging in the workplace. Not the elder of the past who actually was regarded with reverence. No. What is striking. About the modern elder. Is there relevance their ability to use timeless wisdom and apply it to modern day problems? Maybe it's time we actually valued wisdom as much as we do disruption, and maybe it's time not just maybe it is time for us to definitely reclaim the word elder and give it a modern twist. The modern elder is as much an intern as they are a mentor because they realize in a world that is changing so quickly there beginner's mind and their catalytic curiosity is a life-affirming. Alexa, not just for themselves, but for everyone around them. Intergenerational improv has been known in music and the arts think Tony Bennett and lady Gaga or Winton Marcellus and the young stars of jazz, this kind of business. This kind of riffing in the business world is often called mutual mentorship, millennial de cue for gen-x and boomer e q. I got to experience that kind of intergenerational reciprocity with Laura and our stellar data science team when we were actually remaking and evolving the Airbnb, peer to peer review system, using Laura's analytical mind and my human centered intuition with that perfect alchemy of algorithm and people wisdom, we were able to create an instantaneous feedback feedback loop that helped our hosts better understand the needs of our guests. High-tech meets high touch at Airbnb. I also learned as a modern elder that my role was to intern publicly and mentor. Privately search engines are brilliant giving you an answer, but a wise sage guide can act off you just the right question. Google does not understand at least not yet nuance like a finely attuned human heart and mind over time to my surprise. Dozens and dozens of young employees at Airbnb sought me out for private mentoring sessions. But in reality, we were offering often just mentoring each other in some CEO. Brian chessy brought me in for my industry knowledge. But what I really offered was my well earned wisdom. Maybe it's time we retire the term knowledge worker and replaced it with wisdom orcre. We have five generations in the workplace today, and we can operate like separate isolationist countries or we can actually start to find a way to bridge these generational borders. And it's time for us to actually look at how to change up the physics of wisdom. So. It actually flows in both directions from old to young and from young to old, how can you apply this in your own life personally? Who can you reach out to to create a mutual mentorship relationship and organizationally? How can you create the conditions to foster an intergenerational flow of wisdom? This is the new sharing economy. Thank you. For more TED talks go to Ted dot com.