KUMBAYA, or, Can’t We All Just Get Along …

At a recent workshop on diversity in fundraising (creating diverse boards, crafting messages for diverse groups, diversity in the workplace – a buffet of diverse issues if you will …) a brave young lass raised her hand and made a very good point: These days “diversity” challenges don’t have so much to do with gender, color or whether you like girls or boys or both or feel like a girl trapped in a boy’s body or are a vegan Christian or a pagan NRA member.

No, the real hang up is age ... younguns working with oldies and the potential drama inherent in the ever widening gap between the two.

Yeowza.

Everyone exchanged a round of “thank god someone had the nerve to say it” looks and a very enlightening conversation ensued.

The whole thing got me thinking of the concept of mentoring. And how we all need to seriously get over the YOUNG and OLD thing. Mentoring is a cool way to help rise above said thing if both parties involved are open to learning from each other. It’s a two-way street.

Folks in the workshop agreed a lot of the problem is borne out of arrogance. And it’s too simple to say this applies across the board – of course it doesn’t. But it happens a lot.

Some of the more seasoned team members refusing to believe there’s any value in changing the game, or at least learning to use some of the new tools being used to play game, e.g., “I don’t need any more damned passwords, ok?”

Some of the greener, more Twitter and Texter-esque among the team believe they are obviously light years ahead of everyone so what gives? Why should they clip their Web 2.0 wings? They are the world. They are the future. (They do not get that reference to the 1985 song “We Are The World” …)

All I’m saying is, it’s an awesome – in the truest sense of that grossly overused word – time to be a marketer, writer, AE, fundraiser, web designer, etc. There’s so much to learn and do. Be patient. Be open to learning from everyone who has something good to share whether they’re 22 or 62 – you can’t really ever know too much.

Challenge yourself to find a mentor, or mentee who you can learn from. Exuberance and experience make a tasty combo. Peace, love and patchouli.