A couple of weeks ago I contacted Fortune and Forbes magazine with an idea for an article. Fortune jumped on it. “What did I have in mind?” they asked in an e-mail. I began crafting an outline; then I had another idea. I decided to take a page from ‘Novelist 101′. Novelists must show rather than tell. I wrote the piece in its entirety, submitted it and Fortune published on Friday, February 18. Check out how I stepped down from the CEO’s throne and rose from the ashes in another life at http://management.fortune.cnn.com/2011/02/18/the-ceo-afterlife/
Frankly, I was surprised by the editors’ zeal. But, in retrospect, these fellows are professionals who understand the wants and needs of their readers. How ironic that I write this reflection 17 years after vacating the corner office. Like most matters in life, there is reason. I discovered a new passion–writing. What better way to share that passion than to write about my new world and encourage others to look to the end of their corporate days with enthusiasm. To these aging CEOs I say, “Not to worry.” There is a world of challenge and discovery filling the souls of your retired brethren.
So why was Friday crazy? Firstly, I was excited to see how the piece would look in the online magazine. Secondly, it did not hit broadband until mid-moring, so I’d erroneously thought the editors had changed their minds. You can imagine how my heart sank. (We writers are an insecure bunch). Then came the elation. I was inundated by e-mails from so many old friends and colleagues. Ah, what an afterlife!