January 13, 2009

Around the office

The Boss Man is an 81 year old man who has led an incredible life. He has two incredibly successful companies - sold them both - started a third...i'm still waiting on the incredibly successful part :), has traveled the world, had 6 children and who knows how many grandkids, recruited football players for TCU and so many more things.

Boss Man still comes to office every flippin' day, still has so many creations in his head that are just struggling to get out. He sometimes can't get the words to match up with his thoughts and having a conversation with him is like talking with a 6 year old. Meetings often times end up being counter productive. But beyond that - he is still an incredibly intelligent man and can still accomplish so many things.

Most of the time he is grumpy...he doesn't really like to joke around a lot. He is all business all the time.

He is extremely generous with certain things, and others - well he can be completely pigheaded and stubborn about...

I feel as though he has hit a point in his life when he must feel the end is coming. He has started to focus more on turning the business over to The British Guy. He is cleaning out old files. He is trying to organize his space. It is quite sad, and I wonder what made him turn the corner?

The last couple of weeks, his focus has been on cleaning out his "closet". This closet has had 4 people in there to try to clean it out over the years, all unsuccessful because he doesn't want to get rid of anything he might need.

Today I asked him to take me in there and was truly taken back by everything that was in this closet...no it's a room, probably bigger than my office. This room contains, old patents for things he invented, drawings of tools, miscellaneous memorabilia, old employee badges, pictures...lots and lots of pictures, articles, ads, files and files, accordions (yes the instruments), and that is just what i briefly glanced over in the minute i stood next to him in this room.

As we stood there he was telling me what categories he wants these things to go in, he struggles with what to do with it all. I ask if his children want any of it. In my head I think how wonderful to be able to show your children and grandchildren what you have accomplished over your life and give them a small piece of history. He is a Legend in our industry...a true legend.

He tells me that they have no interest in it. They feel that he didn't spend enough time with them. I was so sad for him. As parents we all make decisions that we have to live with. Some parents stay home with their kids, some parents work full time, some parents are able to find a good balance between the two. He lived his entire life blazing new trails and creating a legacy for his children and they have no interest in it.

As I walked back to my office I heard him singing a little diddy softly in his closet. I couldn't hear the words but I could tell there was a sweet melody to them. I sat and listened for a few moments and wondered what he was thinking about. Here is a man who is all business all the time...and only I can hear him singing to himself as he goes thru old memories.