Congratulations!--on your amazing successes and your uncanny ability to make good decisions. I've always held you in the highest regard for being the smartest person I ever worked with. I'm certain it's been a tough few weeks as you wrestled with your choice. In a small way I can relate and if others were willing to speak out you would find that you're far from alone.
Nine years ago this month you and I met in McKinsey's Dallas office to discuss my role with Enron upon its acquisition of Access. I maintained that my employment agreement must have an escape clause to prevent me from being transferred to Houston. You were understandably surprised and suggested that my career opportunities would be limited if I stayed in Dublin. Having recently been divorced I knew that if I left the city where my then 14 and 15 year old sons lived with their mother I would never be able to continue the father/sons relationship which was so important to me. When I met with Ken Lay a few weeks later, he too seemed surprised that I wasn't going to join the management team in Houston.
I don't know what might have happened in my career had I not made that choice. Perhaps the politics in Houston would have done me in since I was truly a small company entrepreneur. But, when I compare myself to my then peers, Lou, Mark, Ken and later Cliff, Andy and Kevin, I do believe I was/am their intellectual equal. Thus, I may have paid an extremely high financial price for my personal choice. Regrets? On the contrary, my ex-wife moved away so I actually was able to raise my sons, both of whom are doing great (One graduated from Washington University and lives in San Francisco and the other graduates from Florida State this December). I also wouldn't have ended up with Sue and gained four more kids. I adopted the youngest--now nearly 11. I also watched the births of my two grandchildren and my step-son is trading emissions for Enron.
So, I react to your decision with respect and admiration. I really learned from Sue, whose workaholic late husband died at 42, that life truly is too short. We're enjoying ours and I hope you will too. But, with only one child left at home we're ready to move to warmer climes. If you decide to change the world again, even if on a smaller scale this time, and would like some help, give me a call. Best of luck.