Auld Lang Syne

2020 cathy adkison new year Jan 09, 2020

Auld Lang Syne

A new year begins, and a new decade is entered. New hopes and dreams are established while the song Auld Lang Syne is sung.  This song comes from a 1788 Scots poem by Robert Burns set to the tune of a traditional folk song.  Auld lang syne essentially means “for the sake of old times”.  It calls for the preservation of our oldest, and dearest friendships and we sing it together to recall past joys and sorrows we have shared.  The first line is a question, “Should old acquaintance be forgot, And never brought to mind?”.  The answer, of course, is “no!” we should never forget.

I began this new year speaking at the memorial of a dear colleague and friend, Cathy Adkison, President and CEO of Big Bend Hospice in Tallahassee who died in December. We heard about Cathy’s resume virtues, and there were many, the letters after her name, and the titles she amassed in her short time here on earth.  However, what really mattered were her Eulogy virtues that went far deeper. The values that existed at the core of her being —kindness, courage, honesty, authenticity, and loyalty. Cathy was all that and more.

How often do you make hiring decisions simply by looking at a resume and conducting an interview or two?  That’s like reading an impressive resume on a dating site, only to realize on the actual date any substance behind the words does not exist.  Strive to uncover and discuss a person’s Eulogy Virtues, when you do that, you’ll discover the true essence of the person.

Cathy’s most frequent phrases were precious leadership lessons for Gini West, Big Bend Hospice Chief Clinical Officer.  Gini shared them with us:

  1. “I admit I made a mistake”
  2. “You did a good job”
  3. “What is your opinion”
  4. “Would you please”
  5. “Thank you”

And finally, Cathy's favorite word was, “we”.  Great leaders give credit to others for the successes and accept responsibility for the failures.  Leaders like Cathy, as the Auld Lang Syne song says, should never "be forgot".  Rest in peace sweet friend.


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