What principle do you go by?

On any team, in any organisation, all responsibility for success and failure rests with the leader. The leader must own everything in his or her world. There is no one else to blame. The leader must acknowledge mistakes and admit failures, take ownership of them, and develop a plan to win. - Extreme Ownership 

Almost a month ago, my boss of 7 years; a leader of an organisation, finally made the decision to retire. The retirement news was not new; here and then - speculation of his retirement would float by, and it was a question of 'when'. But the chord only struck, when the words chirped so vividly when you hear it from the horse's mouth. It was a moment of melancholy which descended upon the wide-eyed employee, trying to digest the information as though lunch was gobbled-through. 

I spent the next few days trying to conceptualise what life would be like; how would it change - and whether will the strategies live, or die with the leader of the decade that brings. And spent the next few days yet again, trying to put together a grand plan for his retirement - from planning a closed-door party to a parting gift. And if not me, who? And if not now, when?

There was so much to say - he was more of a mentor, a leader that was the guiding star - while the directions were never all aligned, but a leader's responsibility is to navigate tough waters, through the nastiest storm, and bring the crew safely to shore. A smooth sea never makes a good sailor. I came across this in my 20s and it stuck with me since. Victories are few, while challenges are many. 

He has always taught us, to always over-prepare - and if I may quote, "If your boss is A+, you need to be A++, and always anticipate the questions they would ask next." Despite this, we still have a long way to go. There were bouts of life lessons he delivered, over the short catch-ups in his room to catch a breather in between calls, or over lunches that were never scheduled because he felt like taking a short walk from the office. The breaks that were so important, but yet so lonely if you are at the top. 

The cardexing memory, sponge-like so that you can effectively manage stakeholders so that the ground would shake a little less. The constant prompt to take a step back, to pace yourself a little slower so that you can run a little faster, further than you were at. The fact that you open up so that you get to teach, coach and impart the life lessons that you have brought along with, over the 40 years, to make us better leaders. 

It's been almost a month, and I've grown a little. And I wonder, how is retirement life like for you? It must feel like a month-long break away from work.