The Second Mountain

Michael J. Readinger

In my September column, I wrote about the way I would approach the “one more times” in my career as I get closer to the final day in my role as president and CEO of CHHSM. I promised to be authentic and connected, inquisitive and introspective, and celebratory in honor of all I will meet and see. In rereading that column as I prepared to write this one, something else occurred to me. I also owe it to both myself and to others to explore what our future relationships might become. I never intended to imply that I was going to say goodbye. Rather, I want to say, “until we meet again.”

That revelation reminded me of something that happened early in 2020. As I was just entering into the discernment process about leaving my current position, I was struggling with the proper way to do so with the requisite grace and integrity. At the recommendation of my executive coach Leslie, I read The Second Mountain by David Brooks. It was a great piece of advice because the book was an easy and aspirational look at what one may choose to do after finishing one phase of their life. As an imminent retiree who was seeking permission and guidance for what to do next, The Second Mountain also inspired me to be proactive in setting myself up for success in my next leg of the journey through life.

As the time before retirement from CHHSM grows shorter, I again recognize that there are so many relationships that I have cherished and organizations whose mission, vision and values align with my own. So, now is the time to begin the more intentional exploration of ways to continue the journey of ministry, friendship and collegiality that has meant so much to me in my current role.

In the days, weeks, and months ahead, you might just think of a way that we can continue to collaborate, maintain, and advance our professional relationship, and/or celebrate our unique bond as colleagues in ministry. And, rest assured, I will be thinking about the people and the places where I want to develop a new and meaningful experience that is elective and not requisite. Where I receive as much fulfillment as I give. Where I am inspired to serve and seek to inspire. Where my value and contributions come from my heart just as much as they come from my brain.

These experiences will mirror and be just as authentic as what we have shared in my time as was president and CEO of CHHSM, but these will be new opportunities for us to climb The Second Mountain together.

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