Saturday, January 16, 2010
I caught up with a friend over a cup of coffee the other day.
Pretty amazing guy really. He was the youngest person to reach store manager at the company he works for. He was considered to "Goldenboy" and was given many challenging stores and assignments. He met and conquered each challenge quickly, and ruthlessly. He trained many of the companies current store managers. As I said, he was considered the Goldenboy.
All that success didn't come without a price. He was blindsided when his first marriage ended. He had to have stomach surgery because most of his stomach was gone. His knees are shot because his competitiveness extended into martial arts.
So, with that as a background, you'll understand my surprise, and my joy, when he commented that everything he had done wasn't as important as the life he now leads and the choices he makes. The pride he takes in his relationship with his two teenage sons. The peace that he now walks in. The ability to say no, and not to chase after the brass ring simply because his identity was so tied to work or being there first. He's learned that who his is is much more than his achievements. And that he wished that he could share the fruit of those lessons with some of the men that he trained up.
And that's what it's all about. That we can share the things that we have learned with those who are following in our footsteps. They don't have to be younger than we are, simply on the path we've gone down.
Those are the people I am trying to surround myself with - people who are willing to invest in me, and people who are willing to allow me to invest in them. Some are younger, some are older, but the desire is the same - to learn from someone else's successes and mistakes, and go further.
May you be lucky enough to travel with people who are willing to invest in you and allow you to invest in them.