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Author: Robert L. Dilenschneider

Publisher: Citadel Press

ISBN:  978-0-8065-3770-2

Author of 50 Plus!, Robert Dilenschenider, has penned several other books (Power and Influence, A Briefing for Leaders, The Critical First Years of Your professional Career, and On Power). (Inside back cover, 2015) He was President and CEO of Hill & Knowlton. Dilenschneider founded a public relations and corporate strategic consulting firm located in New York called The Dilenschneider Group.

The introduction of 50 Plus! States that people all have the same basic needs; “…enjoy themselves, to be part of something larger than themselves, to continue their own sense of their abilities, and to demonstrate to others that they’ve got what it takes.” I do not disagree! Toward that end Dilenschneider says that “…people in their twenties…lack a solid sense of history.” (p.6, 2015)

Chapter 1 is titled The New Rules. “…business…has rules.” (p.15, 2015) “It was the old boys club with a rigid hierarchy.” What changed? Government changed, our educational systems are failing to aptly educate our children, and our economic landscape has faltered and morphed. (paraphrase) What can we do about it? “To add value, you have to have fresh ideas.” (p.21) “Thinking strategically means having a goal, understanding the long range implications of your actions, and acting accordingly.” (p.25) I think too often we fail to see the bigger picture, especially if we lack the experience in the workplace to know how any given persons actions impact the entire system.

The Lay of the Land is Chapter 2. Specifically regarding those of us 50 or older the author suggests to “Figure out what you need-and consider downsizing.” (p.40, 2015) I am in process of doing exactly this and believe it is the right move for more people if they are honest about their needs over their wants. In reference to investing he says, “Be conservative in your investments.” How true that advice is! For instance, “If you are fifty years old and you plan on retiring in fifteen years, a significant part of your assets should be exposed to a broadly diversified portfolio of equities and the growth that equates over a fifteen year time period.” (p.47)

In chapter 3 we begin to learn about your personal image. It’s titled The Real Deal on Image. The opening line is “People can say that image does not matter. But it does.” (p.50, 2015) “Your image influences your ability to progress professionally, to win friends and supporters, to get loans from banks, to sway opinion, to attract the interest and confidence of others…So your future depends on your image.” Image includes your clothing, make-up, hair, shoes, jewelry, and accessories. “Clothing broadcasts everything about us, where we shop, where we live, class, profession, politics, and more.” (p.52) Suggestions for keeping your image fresh range from simple items like neckties to suits to briefcases, etc..

I enjoyed reading about what my generation ought to be doing and I think there was some sage advice imparted in these pages. If you are wondering where you ought to be a fifty and older this would be a good point to begin to learn how to navigate those years.