Today my wife starts a new job. She’s still in the same company, but she’s taking on a new and frankly kind of exciting role. She’s really geared up for it, but like many transitions, the goodbye with the former position and colleagues can be a challenge.
Over the past few weeks, there have been the numerous going away parties, lunches, gatherings, etc., along with the stories, anecdotes, and all that. I read through the “goodbye and good luck” cards that she brought home, and one thing became abundantly clear: my wife will be missed. So many of the short notes read off something along the lines of:
“I learned SO MUCH from you” and
“you taught me SO MUCH” and
“you have such great patience to teach”.
In Stephen Covey’s First Things First, one of the chapters is titled To Live, to Love, to Learn, to Leave a Legacy. I’m not dissecting the chapter and going into the philosophy, but the name alone says it all: leave a legacy.
My wife has created a legacy of being an incredible teacher to her peers and co-workers. So much so that they went out of their way to say it. (This learning was a two-way street, mind you – she took in quite a bit from them as well.)
But the larger point is the legacy she will be known for: choosing to share and impart knowledge with others, in a way that’s effective, and valuable.
Going-away parties might have tasty snacks or meals and funny stories, but I’d personally trade all of that in a heartbeat for someone telling me that they learned from me, and benefitted from working together. That’s probably the best going-away present you could ever get.
Good luck on your new venture, Lee – though I don’t think you’ll need any.
image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pierrelaphoto/2431164961/