May 012017
 

Len Bernat - Politics CF

Happy trails to you, until we meet again.
Happy trails to you, keep smiling until then.
Who cares about the clouds when we’re together?
Just sing a song, and bring sunny weather.
Happy trails to you, until we meet again.

“Happy Trails” by Dale Evans Rogers, 1952

As of March 24th, I officially retired from my position as the Purchasing Manager of Jackson County. I will continue to pastor the little church where God placed me to serve in Maxeys, Georgia but I will no longer be waking up at 6:00 am to get ready to work for someone else.

This is not my first retirement. I retired from active duty as a member of the few, the proud, the Marines in 1993 after 20 years of service to my Country. I will remember that retirement ceremony for a long time. That is because being a Marine did more to shape and mold me into the person I am today and the experiences help me understand human nature so that I could lead my Marines in both times of peace and times of conflict. So, as I stood before my Marines one last time, I wanted to leave them with words of wisdom that they could take with them. So, at the very end of my farewell address, I spoke the following words.

“So, Marines, if you do not remember anything else I told you today, please remember this very important lesson I am about to pass on to each of you. I am going to teach you the difference between a winner and a loser. This wisdom is invaluable so please remember this.

A loser will find himself sitting on a pile of manure and will whine about the situation in which they find themselves. A winner will find himself sitting on that same pile of manure and will try to figure out exactly how to start a fertilizer business. Now, if you do not mind, I have a fertilizer business to get started.”

And that is what I feel today as I begin this new adventure in my life. I have no intent on sitting back and waiting for the grim reaper to take me away. I have goals and I will achieve them. So, if you are like me and are facing this same dramatic change in your life, let me share some ideas with you so that you can make retirement a new adventure.

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LEN BERNAT is a leader groomed by 20 years of molding and shaping by some of the finest leaders in the United States Marine Corps. Their guidance helped Len realize his full potential as he moved from an enlisted Marine to becoming an Officer of Marines. Len became known for being the leader who could turn any lackluster organization into a strong, functional unit. The secret to his success was his focus on creating leaders who were trained to know all aspects of their responsibilities and then providing them the support they needed to be their very best while being held accountable for results. His ability to quickly ascertain how each individual could be motivated allowed Len to be creative in his leadership approach so that the end result was a team whose focus was on team success and not individual accolades and whose loyalty to the mission carried them through even under extreme conditions. Today, he carries the lessons learned into his civilian position at Jackson County, Georgia. As a member of the Governmental Procurement Association of Georgia and its 2011 Purchasing Officer of the Year, Len is sought out for guidance in matters of leadership and procurement law and policy.  Contact LinkedIn

Photo Credit – geralt