Wednesday I said goodbye to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS & IMF). As is tradition, I sent a farewell email. Here’s what it said:
Thank you for 13 wonderful years. You’ve challenge me, encouraged me, and made me a better person. I’m enriched for knowing each of you, whether we always or never saw eye to eye.
Many of you have asked me “What will you say? Will you tell it like it is?” Here’s my reply.
I will never apologize for having high standards, standards you may have often thought were impossible to meet. You have so much capability that goes unused every day because you don’t believe you, or the organization, can do better. You can!
I will never apologize for loving my job and wanting to create systems that allowed others to love their jobs too. The command needs as much joy as possible. Do what you can to add to the joy each day. It’ll pay off.
I will never apologize for expecting those to whom much is given to do much with their strengths. No one can carry another person for long. We each must walk our own path and that means to do better YOU have to be the one to try, to succeed, to learn, to FAIL and learn from that too. You can’t outsource breathing and you can’t outsource improving. It starts with you.
Develop yourself. Lead yourself. Improve yourself. Serve yourself so you can better serve those around you.
You have to choose what you will do with the precious time entrusted to you. Will you challenge the status quo? Will you act while everyone else talks? Will you support each other when the heavy hits come? I’ve seen you do it. I know you can. Just believe that you can and TRY!
You are capable of driving change instead of driving people. You are capable of running effective, joyful, energetic meetings, teams, shipyards. You are capable of aligning all of your various issues of the day into coherent heights that all can work toward.
I’ve done everything I could over my 13 years to figure out how the system works, teach it to others, and be happy doing it. I know some of you say you learned something. Then, be sure to do something with that learning. Be bold. Try hard and learn with every try.
Though I won’t be here physically with you, I won’t be far away. You’ll have me via the blog should you need me (http://engine-for-change.com). There’s 500+ posts of stored up learning sitting there for you whenever you need it. (I promise to get back to blogging too.) And, you can always email me at email@example.com or call (360) 620-5624.
It’s been my honor to serve with you. The future is yours to create. Go out and make the Navy as amazing as it needs to be. The world is counting on you.
All my best always –