Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Taking a Different Path

Thirty-four years ago, I made my first life-direction decision as an adult. The better part of the next three decades were devoted to service to my nation as a Marine. Five years ago, I came to a fork in my life's road and took a turn that led me in a direction for which I believed my training as a Marine had prepared me. I was right and I was wrong.

Three decades preparing to destroy the enemies of my nation, and building teams to that end, did in fact prepare me to tackle the challenges of building teams and programs to take market share away from the competitors of my clients. The strategic and operational templates are nearly identical, and it was no great feat of mental gymnastics to apply one to the other.

Three decades of serving with selfless Americans who likewise had dedicated their lives to the destruction of the enemies of my nation, did not, however, prepare me to deal with the selfish Americans dedicated to lining their own pockets at the expense of any semblance of personal integrity. I am not, it turns out, very good at client service. Let me rephrase/correct that; my self-respect was taking way too many hits as I struggled to be good at client service.

I've reached another fork in my life's road. I'm taking an off-ramp from the interstate and turning onto a dusty gravel road. Today, I announced to my team that I was resigning as their President and Chief Operating Officer effective the end of the month. It is a purely personal decision. I'm simplifying my life. I'm devoting the rest of it to the following goals:

1. Making Miss Brenda happy.

2. Making Miss Brenda happy.

3. Making Miss Brenda happy.

4. Writing the great American novel.

5. Growing corn and/or weeds, whichever is easiest.

6. Staying in good enough shape to keep up with my grandsons.

7. Digging fighting positions around the property to enable an effective defense.

8. Raising bumper crops of peaches, plums, blackberries, deer, and turkey.

9. Defending North Mississippi from the annual winter waterfowl invasion.

10. Wasting your time posting my curmudgeonly commentary for your reading displeasure.
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