Too many executives enjoy their retirement celebration but don’t get out of the business.

You know this is how it often happens because you have seen it. Some executives want to hang on in a consulting role. Others are still anxious to share their wisdom and advice with those young people who assumed their responsibilities.

Their heart is still in the business even though the information bank in their mind is outdated almost overnight.

When I retired, I was determined that I would avoid the kind of the mistake made by my friend Walt.

Walt had recently retired from a Fortune 500 corporation. He had been the senior officer responsible for his corporation’s direct customer services. One evening he received a telephone call from a close friend he had known for decades. The caller told Walt that his daughter had been unfairly discharged, by Walt’s former employer. Walt told his friend that was not the way the matter, a minor policy violation, should have been handled and that he would contact his replacement about it.

Walt called the woman who had replaced him and told her that the usual practice for that particular policy violation was to issue a reprimand and record it in the employee’s personnel file but not dismiss the employee.

Walt’s replacement listened politely until he finished, then she firmly reminded him, “Walt, you don’t work here any more.”

That was Walt’s last call.

Before I retired from Chick-fil-A, Inc., I made this resolution:

         After I retire, I will not make any suggestions or offer any criticism.

I never want to hear someone say, “Jimmy, you don’t work here anymore.”

When I Retired, I Retired.

Since I retired, when people ask me about the current policies, procedures and practices of Chick-fil-A, my standard reply is, “I don’t know. I am retired.”

When I speak on Creative Followership, people often ask me to answer What and Why Questionsabout Chick-fil-A’s actions. My reply is, “I can’t discuss Chick-fil-A’s strategy and tactics because I don’t know anything about them. I am retired.”

When I Retired, I Retired.

I am enjoying my retirement because …

I am confident that I will never be told, “Jimmy, you don’t work here anymore.”

How about you?

Will you really retire?

Jimmy Collins

All of my stories are true. Walt is my friend; I did change his name to protect his privacy.

Like this story? Want to learn more? Look for Jimmy’s Stories on Amazon.com