Every one of our geezers who continues to play a leadership role has one quality of overriding importance: Neoteny. The dictionary defines neoteny, a zoological term, as the “retention of youthful qualities by adults.” Neoteny is more than retaining a youthful appearance, although that is often part of it. Neoteny is the retention of all those youthful qualities that we associate with youth: curiosity, playfulness, eagerness, fearlessness, warmth, energy. Unlike those defeated by time and age, our geezers have remained much like our geeks – open, willing to take risks, hungry for knowledge and experience, courageous, eager to see what the new day brings.
-Leading For A Lifetime, Harvard Business School Press