C-Suite Advisory

Helping Create Productive Work Cultures By Not Acting Like The Center Of The Universe


In this day & age, hiring a candidate of an appropriate age for a role is an outdated/ overrated concept mainly because there are the obvious age discrimination laws at the place, but the practice is still prevalent at the subconscious level, as are the perceptions of titles at the Corporate World and elsewhere.

When hiring, most of us are aware that it needs to be about what skills, talents & maturity people bring to the table that fits the role, apart from all other mandatory details that the hiring team must follow, but one thing is for sure – its got nothing to do with the age (unless you are underage of course).

Hiring a 3 year old (metaphor) who is the right fit for the role is a far better & honest choice than hiring a person with let’s say a mid-life crisis & deep-seated psychological issues who somehow feel that they are entitled because they got blonde or purple hair or that their age should strictly commensurate their title and their title should commensurate their behavior with others.

Subconsciously, some people have been fed for ages with this sense of entitlement that they are somehow far superior (while sometimes they truly are, to be fair). This sense of entitlement must be stopped because it is a disease. It’s a structure that must collapse for the betterment of all and for creating an equilibrium that allows for far more productive work environments.  As an example, baby boomers feel the same way, that age gives them an edge — too bad to burst your bubble but NO. Look at the 16-year-old somethings today, doing so much better at being influential, dynamical risk takers, technologically advanced & savvy than the boomers – and they are not guilty about it at all & on the contrary, are really inspiring to everyone.

As an example, its not okay if certain people have a sense of entitlement due to age or their origins and they bully, virtually shove others in meetings, interrupt consistently & think they are born to do that. Now that’s just downright unprofessional & unethical. Perhaps the next thing I say is indirectly related to the underlying issue in the article, but being in denial about the work you need to do and the engagements you need to perform in collaboration with other teams, is a work ethic issue that must also be addressed. A big no-no is projecting your anger & your shadow on others because you don’t want to do the work and feel overwhelmed. Perhaps take a coffee break, go for a walk, talk with a good friend, or take a day off to rest and when you feel better, come back with an open mind and a positive outlook to handle the work load. Poor self-care leads to poor work decisions including mistreatment of colleagues & work partners.

As another example, when attending a meeting in a professional setting, know your place in a meeting. If you were hired to assist, kindly know thy role in the workspace, even if you call yourself a VP every day, otherwise. Do not overstep the boundaries of your role at the time. If you claim that you are new to the role, then listen for the right information and take notes. Don’t bully and worse, do not collude with other bullies in the same meeting to harass anyone or the ‘Lead’.

Plus do your homework prior, know who is ‘leading the show’ – they are probably experts at what they do & will take the team through efficient & effective steps to accomplish a huge project. Be a team player, not an attention mongering whirlpool. You’d just suck the positive energy right out of that meeting & disrupt its decorum and agenda by doing that, resulting in an unproductive meeting and wasted time for all. Wait for your turn to speak up and for any Q&A.

If it’s a half hour meeting, schedule more time to continue but acting hysterical & plain out of control for the half hour is not going to cut it. Coming from an emotionally charged, egotistical place will also not cut anybody a cheque. Another point of thought is that perhaps if we escalate bad behaviors to the person’s manager and they are not open to the feedback, and as such have the same ‘sense of entitlement’ issues.

By all means, just skip the hierarchy and file a report to the Ethics Group at the firm. My advise to the wrongdoers is, kindly spare yourselves the horror of defending your wrongdoings and avoid being ridiculed at the end of the Ethics Group’s rope and just accept the feedback graciously, learn & grow from from it and move on when originally provided.

Everyone is expected to do just that, probably more than you do, because of your accepted ‘sense of entitlement’ prevalence and especially all up in your head. You see, its not always about you, since you are not the center of the Universe (I am, no…..just kidding, got to keep the humor up!)

There’s a reason we have so many popular infants on Instagram, doing a lot better than most adults with that sense of entitlement. Age got nothing to do with influence and the right thing to do!

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Pooja Duggal Batra
External Advisory Board Member for the CEOWORLD magazine. The External Advisory Board (EAB) of the CEOWORLD magazine provides advice and counsel to the editorial department regarding industry's and other constituents' needs and trends, and therefore support the department in the achievement of its strategic goals. The EAB includes individuals with national and international prominence, business leaders, and government agencies. You can follow Pooja on Linkedin.