Many of you will have heard the news that following an incredibly successful and impactful career, including nearly 13 years of building Trisura, our very own John Garner will be retiring on June 30.

Now, knowing John as well as I do, I can virtually guarantee you that this is not the end, but rather the start of his next beginning.  I have no idea what that might entail, but am pretty sure neither does he right now, but more on that later.

John’s retirement has made me think about a lot of things.  How do you become successful in business?  How do you measure career success?  What really, truly matters in the end when one is ready to call it a career?   Now, I am not going to get all philosophical on you and talk about achieving success in life, although if I did, I could by using John as a shining example.   Rather, I would like to use John and his approach to work as a shining example for all those folks currently on their career paths, trying to figure out how to achieve success in business.  Gen’s X, Y, Z and Alpha take note.


  • Be an expert. This word describes John to a tee.  John is an absolute expert in finance and accounting for insurance companies (brokers too).  He is also an expert in regulatory and industry issues surrounding the insurance industry.  John’s quest for continuous improvement and knowledge means that if John doesn’t know something, you can always count on him to find out the answer and fast.
  • Love what you do. John has a life-long passion for the industry.  If you ask him, I bet you he would say he hasn’t really worked a day in his life!  I also bet he would suggest that if you don’t love what you do then keep on looking.
  • Put in effort and work hard. Much easier to do if you love what you do!  If you look up the word “workhorse” in Webster’s, you will find John’s picture.  All kidding aside, John has been absolutely tireless in his approach to work and has always done more than his fair share.  He has always set the bar high.

So there you have it.  Be an expert, find something you love to do, and then put in the effort and work hard.  Nice and simple.  Do all three and I think you are well on your way to achieving career success.  I do however believe there is one more thing, and if you do this well in addition to the other three, your career success is a virtual certainty.

I am reminded of Maya Angelou’s quote when I think of John.  “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”.

John is a true gentleman.  He has a kind and generous soul.  He does not possess a mean bone in his body.  He is an absolute gem of a human being.  I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t genuinely like him.

And he has always made us feel great.

Congratulations John and well done.  Thanks for showing us how to do it right.  Thank you for everything.  And the very best of luck in the next chapter of your success, whatever that may be.