By the time you hit 40, you think every gray hair or new wrinkle is a BIG deal. But nothing would make me feel older that losing my job to a younger person.
In the case of NBC’s Tonight show, the decision to have Jimmy Fallon take over the job of veteran host Jay Leno has been in the works for months. Though making headlines, the two hosts and the network maintain the decision was amicable, and that it will further the success of all parties involved.
It must stink to be Jay.
Management will expect a seemless transition. If I were Jay Leno, I would be bitter, wouldn’t you?
Like any ousted leader, Jay is supposed to act like he’s okay with situation. He is not the first talented guy be replaced by a younger person and he won’t be the last. But he does need to leave gracefully, because in TV, like in most industries, you don’t want to burn bridges with anyone who might help you down the road.
Clearly, there’s a lesson in Jay Leno’s situation for all of us.
Today, more than ever, there’s value in being young and thinking young. So if we aren’t young, we need to appear young. We need to look our best in the workplace, surround ourselves with young people who can guide us how to appeal to a younger customer or audience, and be open to continually doing things differently and better.
The New York Times said: At 62 years old, Leno represents a more traditional form of hosting, as he’s known for his “Las Vegas-style comedy. Fallon, 38, regularly incorporates the Web and social media into his act, offering “a more contemporary and varied brand of entertainment.”
What Jay may not have realized is you’re never too old to keep your finger on the pulse of change and go with it. If you don’t, someone else will. It’s a mistake many business owners and leaders make, too.
It will be interesting to see what Jay does next. At 62, he still has time to make an intriguing career move. I’ll be watching and, hopefully, learning a lesson in reinvention.