“The best prize life has to offer is a chance to work hard at work worth doing. And I would add that what makes work worth doing is getting to do it with people you love. Find your team.” – Leslie Knope, Season 7, Ep13, One Last Ride: Part 2
I will admit, I’ve never watched one episode of Parks and Recreation. My wife asked if we could watch the last episode and, agreeing apprehensively, off we go. Although I didn’t get much context to characters, this line caught me towards the end of the show: Find your team.
So true. So hard to do. And blessed when we can.
Find your team and do great work. Yes, I will.
I am happy to announce I have accepted the position of Director, IT Infrastructure with Lanvera, Ltd. I am excited by this opportunity to work with leaders John Baldridge, President, Steve Taff, CIO, and Ronnie Howell, CTO, leading this organization to the next technology evolution.
Thank you to those close friends and colleagues that helped with leads and encouragement. I am honored and humbled to have an great collection of network of professionals.
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas A. Edison
Now, onto the next chapter.
“Some animals were meant to carry each other, to live symbiotically for a lifetime – star crossed lovers, monogamous swans. We are not those animals. The slower we move, the faster we die. We are not swans. We’re sharks.”
– Ryan Bingham, Up in the Air (2009)
I was sitting at a table with a collection of other IT professionals this past week at a local networking event, when the conversation turned to turning forty. And, while I expected the usual aches and pains conversation, the informal comments and questions were on assessing careers at that milestone. Are you making and meeting your goals? Are you staying engaged or keeping the status quo? Are you slowing down as time goes on or keeping pace with the competition?
This quote popped into my mind during the event. We are sharks. We stay engaged. We practice life long learning. We improve and grow. And we teach. Because we are sharks.
David Marcus: Lieutenant Saavik was right: You never have faced death.
Kirk: No. Not like this. I haven’t faced death. I’ve cheated death. I’ve tricked my way out of death and patted myself on the back for my ingenuity. I know nothing.
David Marcus: You knew enough to tell Saavik that how we face death is at least as important as how we face life.
Kirk: Just words.
David Marcus: But good words. That’s where ideas begin. Maybe you should listen to them.
– Star Trek II: Wrath of Kahn (1982)
Reflecting on this week, I’ve been confronted with the word death more than a couple of times. My good friend and former colleague had a father pass away. Another colleague is leaving the city he grew up in and characterized his departure as “the death of this chapter, the birth of the next.” In my own life, I described divorce as a death. Especially one having spent fifteen years which produced two children. The longer the marriage, the longer the pain. Feels like death.
Losing a job which you loved is also a death. This is the third time I’ve unexpectedly lost a job due to economic realities, forced downsizing, or the company moving and not relocating it’s people. Putting your soul into your work means you leave a part of you behind. Building IT is like a birth. Leaving IT, to never see it again feels like a death.
So, this week’s quote is from Kirk’s son, David Marcus. Where Kirk is dealing with the death of his friend, Spock, and the advice given is my reminder of how we should go on: How we face death is as important as how we face life.
March 30th marked the end of my four year journey with Santander Consumer USA. Looking back, there were many challenges faced and difficult decisions made. Likewise, I’ve shared in the victories and enjoyed collaboration while influencing a challenging culture. Where we failed, we learned. Where we succeeded, we shared with all. And each time, my team was there and did their job.
I wish I could say it was all me, but it wasn’t. I had great leader who took time to mentor and coach. I had a peer that was both grounding and supportive. And I had a group of guys who cared as much as I did. Each time, we grew as a team, focused and determined to deliver amazing service.
To my former team and SC colleagues, let me leave you with these words by Ed Marx, “Insignificance is not my calling. Nor is it yours.” Do not coast, do embrace challengers, give credit to the team, build villages, not castles, love when you want to hate, people first, and serve, not be served.