Maddie was mentally counting down the days until she was able to retire without foregoing any of her benefits. She couldn’t wait to feel the salty ocean mist tickling her skin on vacation without anxiety over what was happening back at the office. By contrast, Allison’s colleagues joke that they’ll have to hold her funeral in the conference room because the only way she’ll leave the office is carried out in a box. It’s not funny, but it’s probably true.
Sure, there are days when Allison fantasizes about what it would be like to have more white space in her life to do the things she enjoys. However, she finds the concept of retirement a heavy-handed social construct. If she has a sound mind and is in reasonably good health, why should she walk away just because she reaches a certain age?
If she’s honest with herself, Allison doesn’t want to retire because she needs to have a greater purpose that comes from her work. What will the company lose when she goes away? On top of that, she feels like the younger people in the company don’t have the same level of commitment. They call off from work if they get a hangnail.
Whether you’re like Maddie and can’t wait to retire or like Allison, you can’t imagine losing the sense of significance that comes from your career, one thing is almost certain – your wisdom and experience will be missed when you’re gone. Not only that but there are also probably people outside of your organization who could benefit from your knowledge, too.
Are You Afraid to Retire?
If you have been a catalyst for significant change, it can be scary to think of how the organization may regress when you no longer fill the seat at the table. Who will bring the unique perspective that you provide? Your technical expertise? Your willingness to challenge the status quo? Who will maintain the relationships you worked so hard to nurture?
The prolonged illness and recent death of U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein and the ages of the likely candidates in the 2024 presidential elections have prompted many to ask if there’s a time when people need to step aside and let a new generation take the reins. I think there are two questions we should be asking instead:
- Are we doing enough to develop the next generation of leaders?
- As seasoned leaders step aside, are we providing meaningful opportunities to continue making an impact?
Now ask yourself, “What skills, principles, and philosophies do I have to leave with the next generation of leaders?”
Maximize Your Impact
You may already be mentoring a handful of professionals and experiencing how amazing it feels to support them in meaningful ways. What if you could multiply that feeling by 600? Speaking and training is a powerful way to increase your impact.
If you mentor two individuals a year for 20 years, you could help 40 people. That’s not insignificant. But what if you shared your knowledge with 100 people every month for 20 years? That’s 24,000 people! Sure, it may not be as meaningful as the 40 receiving one-on-one time, but even an hour of sharing well-planned content can cause permanent, positive change for those in your audience. I can still remember speakers who made an indelible mark on my life 40 years ago.
Many of the participants who attend my two-day Speakers Intensive are leaders preparing themselves to leave a meaningful legacy by transferring their knowledge to others. But it’s not just about providing information, it’s about transformation. How do you teach in a way that connects across a multigenerational workforce with different values, learning styles and confidence levels? What does it look like to connect to both the head and heart, no matter the topic?
Dr. George Monk attended The Speakers Intensive and is a featured author in my latest book, On Purpose: Strategies for Living and Leading with a chapter about the role of psychologically safety in building high-performing teams. George uniquely understands the weight and responsibility of managing people as a former soldier with 40 years of military and civilian leadership. One of the things George enjoyed about The Speakers Intensive was being able to spend focused attention on developing his own material in an environment where he could get valuable feedback.
Is The Speakers Intensive the next step in your journey to develop the next generation of leaders? To continue to make a meaningful contribution even in retirement while living on your own terms? If so, I invite you to schedule a no-obligation consultation to determine if it’s the right solution for you. Only three spaces are available per training.