One reason is because he has presence. Employees refer to him as "The Sun God." When he enters the room, all entities turn to him. You bet, he owns that room.
We too can blow up age bias if we establish presence. I know.
When I had arrived in Tucson, Arizona from the New York Metro area, I was broken. Those in Manhattan who could hire my communications services had begun to treat me as invisible. The solution, at least temporarily, was to heal in a location where there wasn't the brutal discrimination about age.
During my 27 months in AZ, I developed a mindset that I was SuperMarketer. In my gut, I knew that was the way back to being on the top of my game in my field. Yes, it worked. So well, in fact, that I have relocated back East. No, not New York Metro, but my new base of operations is back where my East Coast roots are.
Well, there is now a book which documents the dynamics of presence with research and case studies.
In "Presence," Harvard professor Amy Cuddy lays it all out. Everyman and Everywoman can gain presence. And the first step begins in their head. They have to be see themselves as The SuperProfessional. Then the rest will follow. That rest could include many other professional goodies.
Don't believe it?
Cuddy tells readers about entrepreneurs. The ones who got the funding were not necessarily the founders with the best investment prospects. Rather, they were ones whose presence convinced others to bet on them. And they were the ones with the ironclad belief in themselves. During his darkest days, Steve Jobs continued to believe in myself. On that mindset he eventually put together the platform for his unique presence.
Cuddy had to learn the presence game the hard way. When she was a doctoral student her mentor introduced her to a few bigs in the field. In an elevator, one demanded she sum up what her work was about.
Her presentation, that influential bluntly told her, was the worst "elevator speech" he had ever heard. No question, Cuddy had plenty of reason to study the art of presence.
When I was a ghostwriter/speechwriter for Lee Iacocca, who had turned around Chrysler in the 1980s, the anecdote bouncing around was that he hadn't been born with a silver-tongue. He made it his business to take a Dale Carnegie introductory course in public speaking. Then he would fly in for a speech or a sales pitch a day early. He threw himself into practice practice practice. But to follow that MO, Iacocca had to have the mindset that he could and would become a great. He did.
The obstacle for too many professionals who could achieve presence is that they are convinced they already are all they could be. After all, they had gotten "this far." Ironically, to dominate in their niches, all they would probably need to do is turn on that switch in their head which allows them to believe they are capable of so much more.