My favorite part of my service to my clients is education. It’s important to me to not only assist my clients in managing their assets, but to also impart some of my knowledge for them to use in the future. However, many of my clients can offer me more wisdom than I can them. One such client is Steve Maher.

Steve Maher is one of those people that not only possesses a goldmine of wisdom, but is always willing to share it. Currently in the process of retiring from a 34-year run at IBM, Steve has recently been discussing the last three decades of his career with me. “It’s hard to accept that a company can certainly move on without you,” he told me. “But it grounds you to what’s near and dear.”  What’s near and dear to Steve is the perspective and insights he’s gained from his experiences.

A nugget of the wisdom that Steve shared with me is the benefit of attacking problems with the approach that he’s not the most important part of an equation. “It’s not about me being right, it’s about getting it right,” he’s said to me on several occasions. Steve continues to remind me that the best answer is out there, but it takes the right approach to find it. By focusing on the person in front of him, Steve believes he can bring out the best in a person,  the best in himself, and “get it right.”

Fundamentally, Steve says that any of his success comes from an attitude of respect for others. Looking at a situation or disagreement from the other person’s perspective is key, he told me, to moving from being critical to being constructive.  Steve credits his parents for the inspiration of this attitude, one that he says he carries into all aspects of his life.

To be someone who is preparing to embark on a new chapter of his life, Steve doesn’t seem nervous. In fact, he tells me that he relishes change; in his 34 years with IBM, he has worked in a number of businesses and leadership positions  – from sales to education to software to strategy   – and lived in three very distinct regions of the U.S. “Frank Lloyd Wright said that an expert is someone who stops thinking because he ‘knows,’” Steve told me, when we were discussing his future. “That always hit me hard. We can never stop learning.”

Perspective, respect, the will to always evolve – these are the nuggets of wisdom that I’ve collected from Steve Maher. Whenever I speak with Steve, it’s obvious to me that he’s ready for a new kind of change. I can’t wait to learn what he has to teach me next.