Influence – know when it’s time to change

I am not there yet, but I can only imagine that one of the most difficult steps in a person’s life is when they choose to retire. I personally don’t believe it should be based on years worked or your age. I think it should be based on influence. Take Bill Marriott for example. He is 89 years old and still carries enormous influence at the company his family started. Look at Bill Gates. He is 65 and could you imagine someone asking him to retire just because of his age?

I met a guy one time named Bob and he was in his mid-70’s. He still referred to himself by his nickname of “Big Deal Bob.” Well you can already imagine what I was thinking. Bob should have retired many years before but still believed himself to be in the game and influential. The truth was Bob was neither. It hurt my heart a little seeing him still trying to be what he used to be instead of what he was now.

I believe it is far better to hang up your cleats when you still have some influence left, instead of waiting until it is gone. Again, while I am not there, I just believe people respect the person who chooses the right season of life to roll down the door and look for the next thing in life.

A very smart lady (my oldest daughter) told me one time that the key to making that shift in life is to already be involved in the next phase. Basically, don’t wait until you end one thing to start the next. Pretty smart advice. KT

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