As I approach the age of 72, a question frequently directed at me is: "When are you going to retire?" Circling the wagons or drifting off into the sunset is anathema to me. I love a martini and I love golf, but I’ve learned one martini is sufficient to meet my needs and, no matter how much I practice, Tiger Woods will never be threatened by my golf game. I firmly believe, if we are alive, that our mission on earth isn't finished.

My age, however, does impact what motivates me. I am no longer driven to achieve, but I remain passionate about living a purposeful life. That purpose is fulfilled in the work we do with clients which leaves me with no doubt that the younger generation are smart, imaginative and committed to creating a different and better world. I feel privileged and love being aligned with that energy. My contribution to these emerging leaders, I would like to believe, is encouragement, inspiration and wisdom.

A passage—Encourage Their Dreams--from one of my favorite books, The Sage’s Tao Te Ching, captures the essence of what I perceive to now be my mission as a senior leader, or elder, in this great game of life.

“If we begrudge the younger generation

its enthusiasms or its dreams

it will only make us miserable.

Let us instead encourage their dreams,

support them with our wisdom,

and bless them with our prayers.

It is only fitting that the young inherit the world.

So did we.

Give freely of your leadership,

but don’t worry about being appreciated.

Happily, pass what wisdom you have gained

on to younger generations,

but don’t worry about being valued.

Let them look ahead,

not behind.

We are their foundation,

they will supply the house.”     From The Sage’s Tao Te Ching by William Martin

David McNally's new book:

MARK OF AN EAGLE—How Your Life Changes the World is available online or order from your favorite bookstore.

“I wish I had read Mark Of An Eagle when I first started my career. It provides a clear pathway to unleash your greatness. This should be required reading for all college grads.” Tom Wiese, Co-Founder — Studio/E