Management visionary Peter Drucker made waves with his concepts until right up to his death. He was no spring chicken when he shook the business world with his opinion-editorial in The Wall Street Journal about selling (outsourcing) the mailroom versus making the function more efficient.
Currently, investment genius Warren Buffett remains a major presence.
But, in general, aging puts a ding or even an ugly dent in the reputation of thought leaders. The way they can maintain their dignity and still attempt to make their ideas sticky is what I call the Ten-Ten Percent Rule. That is, for every 10 years of aging, there is a reduction of 10 percent in one's high profile.
In their prime thought leaders could suck up all the oxygen in the room. That was their reward for getting to the point of influence they achieved. As the world changed, others entered that space, and they aged, that habit of dominating became alienating. In itself it made others resistant to their concepts.
Takeawy: Shrewd to back off, a bit, every decade. Make it a best practice to shine light on younger thinkers. In return they will send media and new business your way. Chuck the role of prime mover. Partner with the up-and-coming.