After a very rewarding 41-year career with the Government of Alberta (Alberta Environment), I (Neil) will be handing in my swipe card and exiting the building for the last time on February 17th, 2023.
I am retiring to completely focus my attention on coaching / facilitating and writing full-time. I have enjoyed the many hours I have put into my coaching/facilitation and writing on the side, but it is time to make a move and devote all my attention to my passion projects. I love writing and currently have three fiction and one non-fiction book on the go. Many more are waiting to be told!
I have been blessed throughout my career to have enjoyed my work and the people I worked with. In my 40-plus years, I have seen many people come and go; many I still consider my true friends!
The Department of Environment is a relatively young ministry, it was created in 1971. I have been blessed to have served under seventeen of twenty Ministers since its inception I started my career in Edmonton as a Drafting aide and ended my career in Calgary as a Water Modelling Technologist.
Throughout my career, I worked extremely hard to keep my coaching and writing separate from my daily Government work so that no one could ever accuse me of doing non-government work during work hours! Plus most days I was too busy to do that, even if I wanted to!
Early in my career, I realized, I hated meetings, which meant that traditional leadership roles were off the table for me! Yes, I hate meetings that much. So I chose to lead by:
- Supporting and advocating that the workplace was a great place to be, and work at. I worked hard at ensuring a positive, safe work environment where ever I was and whatever I was doing.
- Modelling that you didn’t always need permission first! Sometimes, you just need to get a job done, keep people in the loop and then, if needed, ask for permission afterwards.
Eg. I recently secured two years of C# programming support for a program that was DESPERATELY needed in my department. It was the right thing to do for the many people involved, so using my pure charm, I achieved the necessary updating from another Department at no cost to my Department.
I will miss the people I worked with, and I believe they’ll miss me. But after numerous retirements and Departmental downsizing exercises, I know from experience that in a couple of months after I am gone people will have figured out how to get the job done without me, and I will only be a memory in people’s hearts and minds.
I know at the end of my career I will have made a positive difference in many people’s lives, which is all that I can hope for. One of our core basic needs is to know that we have made a difference.
Especially considering my life mission of creating a world of heart-based connections while living and teaching the Shin Dao.
L. Neil Thrussell
PS. I’ll write more on what’s does my new life looks like later. Off to enjoy the sun!