In your professional life (and many a times in your personal life) you would meet three sets of people:
(i) Really Busy: These are the folks who thing attending every meeting is important although his or her inputs cares for less, their ego is high and correlates with power they think they have, zero time management skills, cannot prioritize properly, do not spend time even with team members, mostly operate on control and direct basis etc.
(ii) Acting Busy: These are the most insecure folks who think that if you do not act busy, you are considered unimportant. So, they would pull all excuses to not have time with you – very hollow thinkers, very jealous of colleagues, just exist because they are there at that place.. unfortunately, I would say 75% of the folks you see would belong here
(iii) Busy but..: These are the best folks you need to work with. A boss or colleague who spends time with you, gives priority to you and the team, remembers your name or face and what you do and what you did, very secure in their position and collaborative, their expertise irreplaceable, excellent in working with people and guiding them. and able to prioritize the right work. These are the folks who gets mentioned in separate posts by Individuals as a role model. Very rare but they do exist.
Giving a professional reference to anyone whom you worked with should be identical to giving an eulogy for someone dead – it must be heaped with praises and specific events to highlight the best thing the person has done. Same rule applies for the retirement speech for anyone as well. Never give a reference to anyone whom you have not worked with long enough to highlight their strength and achievements and be very specific about what you say. Keep the language simple (not verbose) and talk about impact. Be good on what you write and keep it crisp and short.