This week’s topic is the result of a quote I read recently:

“I’m a success today because I had a friend who believed in me and I didn’t have the heart to let him down.” – Abraham Lincoln

With everything that is happening around the world today and the fact that most of us, especially retirees such as myself, have more time than ever to sit around and think, this quote made me think back to a friend I met in the year 1969.

We were taking on what one might call a major life change as an opportunity came up for me to interview for a position in Jacksonville, FL which meant leaving PA. The friend I am referring to was one of the interviewers I met upon arriving in FL. Not only did this individual interview me, he became my immediate supervisor, and subsequently my mentor.

One of the things that we find when taking on a major life change is that there are few things in life that are more helpful than a supportive friend. Think about it for a minute. A friend such as this is there for you providing ideas, suggestions, and if a true friend, does so with a positive attitude. Your desire to succeed at whatever you choose as your goal in this new endeavor becomes their goal as well.

During this friendship you realize you want to succeed because it is apparent that they want you to succeed as well. Their desire for you to succeed boosts your own motivation for success. My desire to not let this new best friend down added to my own personal desire and subsequent ability to succeed at my own goal.

By sharing my goals, which at the time was to achieve a particular professional insurance designation, CPCU, (Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter), not only was he supportive, he provided guidance and stood by me to achieve the designation I wanted and was instrumental in my obtaining other designations along the way.

As we know, lives change over the years. Without going into detail, later in our careers, I became the interviewer and my friend became the subject of the interview, (due to a life change they were going through). The interview was successful and I was able to offer my friend a job as my subordinate.

What does this tell us? Cherish your friends, their worth is priceless!

4 thoughts on “Friend

  1. Your spot on Irwin! Over my working career, I’ve been fortunate in friendships that provided not only guidance but boosted my self-assurance simply by believing in me. And the kicker is — they were high positioned supervisors!

    Like most of us who have held many different positions in many different jobs we’ve come across all kinds of people in leadership roles. Some couldn’t care less about you, only the bottom line, some liked to maintain their distance to emphasize who was the boss and some were simply A-holes that should of never been cast in their positions in the first place. Too many of the latter I think in my lifetime!

    Rare are those (especially in high positions) who are unaffected by their corporate status and are instead real compassionate human beings. Those are the true leaders, leaders of people not of just employees. I’ve had friendships with two such supervisors over my long working career. And fondly remember them, even today.

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