I was not retiring, simply changing the way I work and the work I do to generate an income.
It has been a coming out of sorts.
The reaction these last 4 weeks from many friends, family and acquaintances has certainly been interesting.
Overwhelmingly, there has been support if not a great deal of understanding .
There has been surprise as to why I would walk away from a role that paid particularly well and where I had enjoyed a degree of success.
Secondly, explaining the difference between retirement and stepping away from a traditional employer/employee relationship has been hard for others to comprehend.
In all cases, I am asked the same question – Why?
The answer is really quite simple; I am being true to myself.
I have often articulated to others a need to:
“Know why you do what you do, why you do it where you do, and why you do it with the people you do it with.”
I had reached a stage where I was unable to answer these questions in the positive.
For the past (almost) seven years, I have been clearly aware of why I was doing what I was doing. I had a clear picture of why I fronted each and every day and inevitably put in a 12-hour day. I was comfortable I had both the platform and support to execute my fundamental Leadership/Management philosophy. My beliefs and ethics were not compromised.
Interestingly, my Leader/Manager for much of this time fundamentally disagreed with my way of doing things, but never ever waned from his support for what and how I did what I did. It was a mark of a good leader. It is also a rarity.
Through much change over these years I remained comfortable with the alignment of my ethics and intent, with those of my employer. Therefore, I clearly knew why I was doing what I was doing and also why I was doing it where I was doing it.
This also changed.
Finally, there were “people” changes over a period of 6 months, commencing in December 2016. This involved both the teams I was responsible for and then my Leaders and colleagues.
A key element of Leadership is walking the walk and talking the talk. So many Leaders fail the authenticity test in that they advise, coach and lead from a base they basically do not believe in, or do not believe in themselves, to live by and adhere to. They lack courage, they lack conviction; they talk the talk, they do not walk the walk.
I could no longer provide myself with an answer as to why I was doing what I was doing. Furthermore, I no longer had the confidence I had the support to continue to operate within my own philosophical and ethical belief system. This in turn made the other question as to the leaders and peers I was doing it with, self fulfilling.
The decision to cease was easy. What has surprised many is that I did not seek the simplicity of another traditional employer.
One month on, I am most satisfied with my decision.