Today I wanted to take the lost idea another way, but after the news from yesterday it was more fitting to talk about what happens when we feel we have lost a leader, a mentor, or someone in our world who has changed it. As most of you have read by now, if not in the news or on a pop up for your news pages, yesterday Steve Jobs resigned as CEO of Apple. It is fair to say that Apple was his lifeblood; he is the man who has been behind the design of their products for years.
In each of our lives we will have times where we must move forward without someone there. In our world, I look back to many of the places where we have lost leaders. It happens in sports when a leader decides it’s his time to retire. Think back to the day that Joe Montana retired; I think of the day here in Dallas that we watched the retirement ceremony of Bret Hull. The biggest memory of when an icon leaves a sport would be the day that Dale Earnhardt crashed into the wall, with both of his cars leading and taking 1st and 2nd place in the Daytona 500. It was a shock, but the sport lived on.
Originally, I was going to post about loss of a loved one. Last summer I lost a friend to a bike accident. I sat on the side of the road with him and watched as he took his last breath, while talking to his wife, who was riding with him and who was also hurt. At almost the exact same moment, my honey was at home here in Texas watching her mother take her last breath, too, after a long illness. Then, in December I was driving with my mom here in Texas while she received a call from the hospital back in Pennsylvania that my dad had taken his last breath. It’s a fact of life that we will face the loss of loved ones at some time. The great thing is that we actually opened our lives up enough to let someone in and to love them.
There was news this week about Pat Summitt, the legendary coach of the Tennessee Volunteers’ women’s basketball team. She’s the winningest coach in collegiate basketball – men’s or women’s – and she was just diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. She wasn’t ready to leave coaching yet so she is going to remain in her job for now but has had to make the decision to turn over many of her coaching responsibilities to her assistants because of the effects of the disease.
Our life goes on after loss and these industries and businesses will go on after the person who has built it decides he needs to step down and leave for the better of his own life. Do you know the limits on your life when you get to the point that you can no longer do what you do? Do you know the point where your limits stop? When our life changes by the loss of a family, or friend we have to look at our life and know what we can do and what we can’t do. We have limited time on this earth and not only are we to use our time to dedicate ourselves to making the world better, we need to also work to give ourselves the best life we can for as long as we can.
Take some time this week and make sure that you have your life in order. We must use these experiences as learning to make sure we are set up to be the best we can be. One day we will exit this earth, and as I’ve said before, no one ever sat on their death bed and said “I wish I had spent more time at my job.” Make sure you balance your life out to enjoy your life, not just work your life away.
Apple will still be a great company. I am sure that Steve Jobs has set up those who are there for success. After all, I’m sure many of those ideas at Apple are from an idea pool created by people working on innovative ways that will keep the company growing. The Tennessee Lady Vols will still win games and maybe championships even without their famous coach. She didn’t coach them alone; she has a staff of dedicated assistants who have been with her for many years coaching beside her. Take this lesson to your own life; learn to set your family up for success after you are gone. Take the time to set your company up so others will be able to carry on your vision of this idea you have created.
When your life gets to the point you cannot do what you do any longer know when it’s time to step down. A stand up guy makes a statement like Steve Jobs did and says “I told you when the time comes that I cannot do my best at this I will step down.” Well that time has come for him and it will likely come for Pat Summitt. Steve, thanks for the tech world you set up for us. May you find rest and enjoyment in retirement and take pleasure in the rest of your time on this earth. Steve Jobs lived my motto and you should too.
I’m Tim Gillette, the Rocker Life Coach. It’s time for you to live the life you always dreamed of, by learning to love what you do and those you share your life with. Now is the time for putting your plan in action to be the RockStar in your world.