I had the opportunity to help another person cross the threshold into the freedom of retirement. What a joy to say goodbye on such good terms. I look forward to the next time we meet and learn of what he’s doing along the path of his own choosing. He no longer needs to help our modern pharaohes build their temples of gain and profitability. He no longer needs to schedule around the task master’s ever-changing priorities. He no longer needs to keep his guard up for what he says or how it may be taken by the political correctness police in his co-worker’s heads. Of course, over the last couple months, what am I kidding, the last couple years, he has been letting go the need for approval and watching what he says. That’s why I’ve enjoyed our morning talks so much. More often than not, our conversations were not about work per se but what we were learning from our environment and sharing the few bits of wisdom between us. We were discussing the biz of you and the many ideas it integrates. Without Hak, I wouldn’t have started this blog or immersed myself in the many year incremental project of birthing a book. I’ll miss the early morning jaunts into the ideas from the many writings of scientists, philosophers and historians.
Considering all that I learned from Hak, I took it upon myself to make his passing through the threshold of retirement as meaningful as possible. He didn’t want to get many people together but as the event got closer, I began to realize just how many people Hak influenced during his tenure of more than 20 years at the company we work for; correction, only I work for now. His easy going but heart-felt emotional approach to things touched many lives in a positive way. That’s why so many people showed up for his “little” retirement party. It became more of a reunion. We reviewed the values that brought our little company together so many years ago of: Family, Otlechno, Integrity, Growth, Innovation, Excellence and Fun. Within the value statements were many supporting ideas that helped us create a culture that has survived in those of us from the early days through two company buy outs. All of the values relate to the biz of you, but a couple pop out for me and I suspect for Hak as well.
- Family is supporting each other by listening, respecting, assisting and encouraging while maintaining individuality. We have a shared responsibility for living our values.
- Otlechno is creating elegant solutions that blend all the variables into a great result. It’s combining different aspects such that the whole becomes greater than the sum of the parts.
For my biz, I’m looking forward to crossing that threshold myself. Perhaps that’s why I appreciate Hak and John, who I helped a couple years ago pass into the later years when we work at play and do those things we want to. Both Hak and John have taught me so much. If there’s one take away from my reflection on retirement and the many discussions with Hak and John it is this. Our attention, time and energy are ours to spend or invest as we choose. This is true throughout our life. However, when we are young we are often consumed achieving and procreating to the point of losing ourselves in responsibilities when the consequences of our younger self decisions hit us in middle age. If we can keep an eye on the future, perhaps we can make better decision throughout our lives whether that be going through school, mid-life or our post toiling to build pyramids for the pharaohs years.
I look forward to the discussions I can have with them whenever we take time to do so. I look forward to continuing my life education in our get togethers and simply sharing our personal biz stories and lessons learned.
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