Open Letter of Retirement
After 40+ years working with college students, accountants and lawyers. After a career collaborating with hundreds of clients, colleagues, co-workers and friends. After countless meetings and calls and committees and programs, I am retiring—mostly.
To my friends, mentors and colleagues for your encouragement and guidance, particularly at those times when I needed it most. Of special note…
- Ron Holloway, a friend, mentor and partner who guided me in my “early years.”
- Bill Flannery, who promoted the value of training as a way to help lawyers understand the theory—and practice the skills—of professional services business development and gave me the opportunity to teach those skills.
- Mike Reynvaan, Perkins Coie Marketing Partner who taught me the importance of patience and encouragement.
- Wicker Park Group (and by extension their network of clients and friends), for accepting me into their family and reminding me that the client is at the center of everything.
Some of you have no desire to retire, and I respect your decisions. This is the right time for me. I will be 70 this summer, and it’s time to transition to the next part of my journey. I know I will miss the teaching and the “aha moments” all teachers seek in their students. I won’t miss the unreasonable requests and intelligent but skeptical personalities.
I have set aside a couple of days each month for a limited number of coaching clients/sessions, however, for those interested. Happy for referrals.
Otherwise, my plans for the future remain vague at the moment. Volunteer more, read more, travel more, enjoy more time with family and generally stay active.
In that vein, let me offer two suggestions:
- Take time for yourself. The legal industry is a pressure-cooker environment. The lawyers I worked with and for are under constant pressure to perform. Most work long hours, solving complex scenarios. They can be a challenging bunch to please. Take the time to regularly separate from your work, even for a small amount of time. No phone, no screens. Quiet time. Your time. I was never very good at this.
- Exercise regularly. I remember when Susan Lambreth would plan a 5k run at NALFMA (pre-LMA) conferences. Darryl Cross and Adam Severson and many others inspire me to keep running until my knees say “no mas.” Yoga, soccer, swimming—find your activity and stick with it.
Nothing profound, but important, nonetheless.
The world today is going through significant change. Here’s to embracing the positive changes in the legal industry, working toward the better good and taking care of ourselves at each stage in life.
Let’s stay in touch,