Burning the Candle …… At Both Ends

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I decided to break the silence by posting my thoughts for today. After the trip to Paris, I spent the next two weeks catching up with life! Life at home and life at work.  The time at work never seemed enough. Before I knew it, I was juggling through year-end deadlines and book review  deadlines. Not to mention basketball games and school activities – sadly enough, I found myself asking my husband to cover for me at those school activities. Bless his heart. If I was creative enough to compose a song called the Working Mother Blues, it would be all about my gratitude for him in my life.

 I wanted to mention something about my interesting  week at work. For three consecutive nights, I attended three different celebrations. Two of them were retirement parties for Senior Leaders who had given forty years of their life to our company.  In light of the company’s focus on cost reduction, these parties were small. I feel privileged enough to have been handpicked to attend these events. When these two gentlemen gave their speeches (separate events, of course) they spoke of their contribution to the company only in the context of the people that they had worked with. That their work only had value because of the contributions that their people have made.  They both stressed the importance of taking care of those that they were leaving behind, that a company is only as good as its people.

 Later on, as I regretted constantly complaining about having to stay in town to attend these events, it hit me. Sometimes as we become fortunate enough to succeed in our careers, we are too busy to think about the people who got us there.  Not just the mentors who held your hand and took you along for the ride, but of the staff whose loyalty and diligence allowed you to take credit for accomplishments along the way. And as hard as I try to make sure that I never forget where I started, the events of the week have opened up a clearer perspective of leadership for me. I can only hope that I don’t let these retired leaders down.

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