EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

I have often noted to my friends who aren’t into boating that the difference between a power boater and a sail boater is that power boaters usually use their boats to go somewhere, whereas sail boaters are already there once they step onto their boat.

In our goal driven, management by objectives, over achiever world, the difference in philosophy between someone who has an obsessive desire to reach a goal versus someone who lives for the journey is considerable.

The truth is, of course, one can do both as long as you think about both.

To me the purpose of sailing is to enjoy good times and adventures with my spouse, members of our family and our many friends. Whether it is a windy spring or fall day, a day with the possibility of showers, or a hot sticky windless afternoon on Long Island Sound, the conversation flows and the experience itself is what this is all about. Except for vacations (and even on vacation), the travel goal for the day is under constant revision. At 5 knots of less, you really have no choice.

I have observed the same life pattern with those who have tennis partners or golf buddies, or any number of other activities one does with others. If you dig below the surface, you find that the game itself, although initially the reason everyone got together, becomes less important as the years roll by. The exact score for the day, the impossible shots you returned (without falling down), the chip into the cup from the sand trap, all make for good conversation. But it is the doing of the activity with others that makes it all worthwhile.

Another life observation I would make is that sometimes you don’t see these folks except during your specific activity and/or at the “annual dinner” or lunch. Still, the passing of the years, watching each other age, is all part and parcel of “the game.”

The journey that binds us all together here in The FENG is our careers. As senior financial professionals, a lot of water has already passed under our bridges. Still, I wonder, have we taken enough time to focus on the journey? Have we taken the time to make a few new friends each year?

Well, it is time to focus on the journey. And, there are so many ways to do it as a member of The FENG.

Let’s start with those vitally important chapter meetings. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just click with someone. I am not always sure what I like about them, I just do. I welcome their calls and call them from time to time to see how they are doing. (Want to meet for a cup of coffee and go over your resume? Want to discuss your latest interview and whine and complain about how they didn’t get back to you. No problem, you’re a friend and I am happy to hear you out when you can’t discuss the issues of the day with anyone else.)

We also have Special Interest Groups. Have you explored yours? Sometimes it is hard to actually meet some of the friends you might meet through this vehicle, but then again, you never know where life may take you. Even if you don’t meet face to face, you can easily keep in touch by phone or email. These are folks who have a specific connection to you and you should have a lot in common. Give a few of your SIG buddies a call and try to connect. A warm handshake over the phone isn’t as cold as you might imagine.

The FENG is designed to be a part of your career journey. Enjoy the relationships and true friendships that are possible being a part of our unique circle of friends.

Who knows, it may even take you to a destination. (Although, as I hope you know, all jobs are temporary. This is a quote from Russ Potter, former Chair of one of our New Jersey chapters.)

Regards, Matt

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