From my fortunate position of being an inside helper with the 20UNDER40 project, let me leak a little scoop. Edward has been so scrupulous in his processes, he will probably be annoyed at me. Too bad, that is one of the perks of age, you have a thicker skin.
In reviewing the overwhelming number of submitted chapter proposals (304–when I had placed what I thought was a safe bet of $10 with Edward that he wouldn’t get more than 75, based on past experience), Edward and his kitchen cabinet of under-40 colleagues have read and studied and voted, using blind processes (they didn’t know the name of any submissions they were evaluating) and asked me to help a little. My peripheral help let me read the proposals to help categorize, but have no input on selection. Let me leak the news that the quality was not only good, not only really good, but off the charts excellent.
If I were to characterize the generation of young leadership by the quality of the thinking, the boldness of the imagination (without pie-in-the-sky impracticability), and the sheer fresh take on stale stuck problems, I would say the future is in very good hands, and I can croak without fear for my beloved field. Yes, the vast majority were really smart, but even more, they were savvy. The twenty that will finally comprise the book will be a significant contribution to the field, just because the work is so good, for professionals of any age. I found greater boldness, healthy irreverence, and clever ambition than I think a similar collection of my own generation would show. Read the rest of this entry »