Monday, August 28, 2006

Retirement Party

I went to a retirement party the other day. It was for a city executive and, at her request, was very low-key. Speeches were kept to a minimum and she had a chance to get around and see the sizable group of people who worked with her recently or years ago.

The tone was just right and she eloquently spoke about her plans for the future.

As I looked around the room, the old thought occurred of just how much talent was going to walk out the door. At the same time, of course, her departure opens up some opportunities for others who will, in time, make their own mark.

That's the way it works. You spend years creating and maintaining and then head off; preferably at a time of your own choosing and while you can still do other things. Later on, you may return and new people will wonder just who you are. And, of course, by then you are indeed a different person from the one who left.

She plans on traveling and reading more and the usual indulgences one dreams of when the daily routine is packed. Knowing her, she'll do all of that in a year and then will be looking for something more challenging. That's good news.

If her only goal was to play golf, I'd be really worried.

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