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CEOs – You Need To Leverage Your Kids

July 23, 2013 By admin | Write Comment

FreeGreatPicture.com-3224-cat-and-goldfishI read an article not long ago about CEOs in general being “technologically challenged”. I have found this to be very true. CEOs want to be seen as “leading edge”. They see others who whip out their laptops, tablets, and smartphones while at the airport or in meetings. They immediately instruct their purchasing people to buy them the newest gadget out there. Once it comes, they proudly show it to all their friends and colleagues. Then they try and turn it on – and that’s when the fun starts. And that’s when the staff starts to get headaches.

For the CEO, it’s like being thrust into 3rd grade when you didn’t get to attend 1st or 2nd grade. The rest of the world is bantering about terms like Skype and Mac Air and the trials and tribulations of Windows 8, while the CEO still hasn’t figured out the difference between Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer. They try to save a file and have no idea where it went to. They accidently delete an email and have absolutely no idea how to get it back. They inadvertently click on a website and become deluged with porn or worse – a virus. They’ve become an accident waiting to happen.

While our CEOs were out building businesses and client bases and marketing to whoever they thought would benefit from whatever they had, the rest of us were struggling to learn how to use the first computers that hit our desks. We learned through experience, mistakes, struggles, workarounds, software updates, blue screens of death, hard drive crashes, finding spreadsheet errors, and a whole mess of other issues too numerous to mention. But we learned. Our CEOs never got the chance to learn that way. They were too busy paving the way for the rest of us to earn a living.

CEOs need a resource – a place they can go to when they lose a spreadsheet or an email, or when their device locks up. They don’t want to have to ask the staff – then the staff will think that their fearless leader is a techno – goof up who couldn’t fight his / her way out of a wet paper spreadsheet. Nope, the resource should be somewhere out of the office. Many CEOs have this resource and don’t even realize it – it’s their kids.

Our kids were raised on computers – they’ve been breathing technology air since they were born. They Skype, hack, network, game, and communicate with electronic devices permanently attached to their hands (at least it appears that way). They can text with two or three fingers faster than our most of us can type. They use their phones as an actual phone only about half the time – the rest of the time is spent monopolizing its other functions.

Spreadsheets and MS Word documents are standard issue for homework assignments, and assignments are handed in via websites. Questions for the teacher? Text them. Email them. Skype them. Go to the library? Why – when it’s all available on the internet? Kids today handle electronic devices the way we used to know multiplication tables and how to do long division. It’s built into their DNA.

The next time a CEO gets frustrated with a computer – ask the kids. When it comes to computer basics, the chances your child has the answers are extremely high. Of course, in order to ask them, they will have to learn how to text or skype them, or find out which social network they frequent…

The scariest part? I have a 2 year old granddaughter. Yes, she’s 2. She talks in sentences of 2 and 3 words, like most normal kids who have just turned 2. And she knows how to find – and run – all the games on her parent’s iPad. Another 3 months and she will figure out how to Tivo all the “Dora The Explorer” shows. She loves those. Thank goodness she is too young to know about the purple dinosaur that used to torment our kids (and us) some years back.

Michael Paulson

Follow Michael @paulsonmichaelj

CareerToolbox international, LLC

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