I had a terrific discussion with a successful businesswoman a few weeks ago. Her name is Beth, and she rose to an executive position at a major corporate training organization. I’ve known Beth for more than a decade, and there is no doubt that she is a superstar employee. She is a natural leader.
Beth invited me to a conference, and we had an opportunity to chat during the reception before the dinner:
ME: Hey, Beth! How are you doing this fine evening?
BETH: Jimmie, it’s good to see you. I was happy that you accepted the invite. I know Philly is a bit far from San Antonio.
ME: I know it is, Beth, but I did my best to be here. You are an excellent colleague, and I know this conference has a ton to offer. It’s a win-win situation.
BETH: We’ve been doing this corporate training work for decades, and it only gets better. I tell you … technology has changed so much. The stuff we provide our clients is unbeatable.
ME: I think 9/11 allowed us to take a different look at how we train our employees. I agree that meeting face-to-face is important, but there is so much we can do with computers and the web.
BETH: I agree. Look … I’m 70-years-old, and I know that we can delivery quality education and training over the Internet. It would be so easy for me to shun technology, but I’m not that crazy!
ME: Beth, quite honestly, I cannot believe you are 70! I guess you’ve done a great job of keeping yourself in top shape because you look much younger.
BETH: Thank you for saying that. I’ve had my ups-and-downs, but keeping an even keel does prevent aging. Heck, losing control too much leads to heart attacks. We don’t want that!
ME: That’s good advice. I will remember that when things get off-track. We are faced with so many unpredictable situations today.
BETH: I’ve had my issues, too. I do a much better job today of focusing on the problem itself, and not on personalities.
ME: I saw an email this past week that you are retiring. What’s up with that?
BETH: Jimmie, I’m 70! My husband retired several months ago, and he is at home while I’m working. I was driving to work recently, and I was startled to think that I was going to work while my husband was at home. He wasn’t on vacation or sick. He is retired! I realized that it was time for me to do the same. That same day I informed the company president that I was giving my notice. I said one month, but they asked if I could extend it to 60 days. I agreed, and I have just one more week before the final day.
ME: How do you feel about it?
BETH: I will miss the great people here at work. That’s for sure! But, it’s time, and I’m ready to enjoy this phase of my life. My husband and I decided that we’ll do whatever makes us happy!
What a refreshing conversation.