Can those in 40s make it to the top?

Do successful people show talent early in their life? What happens to those who are already in their 40s and not yet successful? Do they have chance to make it in life? In fact many in their 40s and 50s often complain about ageism.

Are charges of ageism correct? Let us examine issue based on examples from history and corporate world.

Alexander was 30 years old when he ruled over empire stretching from Greece to Punjab. At the age of 33 he died.
Bajirao I most successful of all Peshwas from Bhat family became Peshwa at the age of 19; he expanded Maratha Empire beyond boundaries of Maharashtra. At age of 39 he died.
Muhammad bin Qasim was 17 years old when he conquered Sindh for Umayyad Caliphate. Was executed at the age of 19!


Malcolm Gladwell came up with 10000 hours rule i.e. a person can have mastery over any task by practicing it for 10000 hours. So earlier you start in life the better.
Business magazines are full of stories of CEOs who reached that position in their 30s.

Unfortunately, the stories of those successful in their 40s and 50s hardly get publicity. Few magazines ever publish them. But there are such success stories.


Chingiz Khan was in his 50’s when he started expanding empire beyond Mongolia, starting with conquest of Jin dynasty, then Khwarezmian Empire finally conquering Russian Princes- ruling over one of the world largest empire.

Kushwant Singh was in his 40s when he wrote “Train to Pakistan” and most of his novels were written after that. Fame and money came after he crossed age of 40.

We also have examples of two gentlemen who build their empire after crossing age of 50- Ray Kroc (McDonalds) and Harland Sanders (KFC).

So forget ageism, those in 40s still have chance to make it to the top.


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