Certain individuals stand out as exceptional assets—Super Agers. Among the many Arete Coach podcasts released this year, Episode #1107, titled "SuperAgers, AI, and Lifetime Learning," claimed the spotlight as the most downloaded. This achievement doesn't come as a shock, considering the heightened emphasis on health and lifelong learning. In response to the surging interest in Super Agers, we take a deep dive into the topic.
This article was originally published on Arete Coach and has been re-written and approved for placement by Arete Coach on ePraxis. Scroll to continue reading or click here to read the original article.
Who are super agers?
The concept of "super aging" is nothing short of transformative. Super agers are individuals who not only maintain their cognitive and physical abilities as they age but also continue to excel and thrive in both personal and professional domains. For executive coaches, comprehending the significance of super aging, acquiring the skills to become one, and guiding their coachees to attain this status can be game-changing.
Super Agers, typically in their 70s and 80s, possess extraordinary mental or physical capabilities reminiscent of individuals much younger. Cognitive Super Agers exhibit youthful cognitive abilities, approach problem-solving with vigor, and readily embrace new mental challenges. This proactive mindset is believed to help preserve brain function. On the other hand, Physical Super Agers maintain physical fitness on par with individuals decades their junior, particularly in terms of aerobic capacity and overall health (Harvard Health Publishing, 2017).
The significance of Super Agers
Whereas age is often associated with diminished performance and capabilities, Super Agers defy conventional stereotypes. These remarkable individuals not only preserve their physical health and mental acuity but also possess exceptional qualities, including adaptability, resilience, and an unquenchable thirst for learning. The significance of Super Agers in the corporate world cannot be overstated; they represent invaluable assets for organizations navigating the complexities of an ever-evolving business environment.
Benefits of Super Agers in the workplace
The presence of Super Agers in the workplace yields profound and positive impacts on the organization. Consider the following:
Knowledge and Experience Transfer: Super Agers often possess an extensive reservoir of knowledge and experience accrued over their careers. They function as mentors and coaches, facilitating the passage of expertise to younger employees and safeguarding the preservation and transfer of institutional knowledge.
Leadership and Decision-Making: Their experience and wisdom enable them to make informed, strategic decisions that encompass long-term implications, risk management, and industry insights.
Innovation and Adaptability: Contrary to the misconception that older workers may resist change, Super Agers consistently exhibit high levels of adaptability and creativity. Their diverse experiences empower them to approach challenges with fresh perspectives and innovative solutions.
Stability and Continuity: Super Agers offer stability and continuity within an organization. Their unwavering commitment to the company's mission and values maintains a cohesive corporate culture.
Mentoring and Employee Development: They serve as role models and mentors, nurturing the professional growth of younger employees. This mentorship yields increased job satisfaction, skill development, and talent retention.
Reduced Turnover: Organizations that actively engage and retain Super Agers often enjoy lower turnover rates. The continuity and mentorship they provide bolster employee longevity.
Enhanced Problem-Solving: Super Agers leverage their vast experience to tackle complex problems and navigate crises effectively. Their composed and measured approach guides teams through challenging situations.
Customer Relationships: Super Agers cultivate enduring relationships with clients and customers. Their experience and credibility inspire trust and confidence, elevating the organization's reputation.
Diversity and Inclusion: A diverse workforce that includes Super Agers fosters a more inclusive and age-friendly workplace culture, boosting employee morale and broadening the talent pool.
Cost Savings: Retaining experienced Super Agers proves cost-effective. The expenses associated with hiring and training new employees, coupled with the disruptions caused by turnover, are mitigated through the retention of seasoned workers.
Market Insights: Super Agers often possess an acute understanding of the evolving needs and preferences of diverse age groups. This insight is particularly valuable in industries that cater to a broad customer base.
Succession Planning: Super Agers play a pivotal role in succession planning. They identify and groom potential future leaders within the organization, ensuring a seamless transition when they eventually retire.
Becoming a Super Ager
The following principles offer a roadmap to maintaining both cognitive and physical vitality, allowing us to excel in our personal and professional lives. As executive coaches, you have a unique opportunity to guide your coachees along this transformative path, providing them with the tools and mindset needed to achieve Super Ager status, enhancing their careers and well-being.
Lifelong Learning: At the heart of super aging lies a commitment to lifelong learning. Executive coaches can underscore the importance of continuous education and skill development to their coachees. Encouraging them to remain inquisitive, explore new knowledge, and adapt to evolving industry trends is a pathway to enduring relevance and competitiveness.
Stress Management: Super Agers excel in stress management and maintaining a positive mindset. Executive coaches can impart stress-reduction techniques, such as mindfulness meditation and resilience-building strategies, enabling their clients to thrive even in high-pressure environments.
Physical Well-Being: Physical well-being is a cornerstone of super aging. Coaches can guide their coachees towards adopting healthy lifestyles, emphasizing the significance of regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and adequate sleep. These habits not only promote physical well-being but also enhance cognitive function.
Building Resilience: Resilience is a defining trait of Super Agers. Executive coaches can assist their clients in developing resilience by teaching them to embrace failure as a learning opportunity, manage setbacks effectively, and cultivate a growth mindset.
Building a Support Network: Super Agers often possess robust social connections and support networks. Coaches can encourage their coachees to forge meaningful relationships, both within and outside the workplace, fostering a sense of belonging and emotional well-being.
Embracing Change: Adaptability is a hallmark of Super Agers. Executive coaches can collaborate with their clients to embrace change, foster a flexible mindset, and nurture the ability to pivot in response to evolving circumstances.
Goal Setting: Super Agers are known for their goal-oriented nature. Coaches can empower their coachees to identify clear, achievable goals and develop comprehensive action plans to bring these goals to fruition.
The main takeaway
Becoming and coaching Super Agers stands as a strategic imperative. These exceptional individuals challenge conventional notions of aging, maintaining their physical and cognitive prowess while thriving in their careers and personal lives. Executive coaches who grasp the significance of Super Agers and impart their wisdom to their coachees are better equipped to lead their clients towards sustained success.
By championing lifelong learning, stress management, physical well-being, resilience, support networks, adaptability, and goal setting, executive coaches empower their coachees to attain Super Ager status. In doing so, they not only enrich the lives of their clients, both personally and professionally, but also contribute to the development of resilient, innovative, and enduring leaders.
Harvard Health Publishing. “What Does It Take to Be a Super-Ager?” Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School, 1 May 2017, www.health.harvard.edu/healthy-aging/what-does-it-take-to-be-a-super-ager.
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