Over the years I have managed and employed many people. Some were great and others not so much. Regardless, I have always tried to invest equally in helping them each be better than the person they were when we first met. It is not always easy and it is certainly not always met with the same type of investment or vigor from the one receiving the guidance. Regardless, I stay the course.
I work hard to try to motivate my team and be a great leader every day. I don’t always make the perfect choices or tactical moves, but the underlying north star is always to lead by example and give my team a clear path to personal and professional success. It is so important to me that that is the narrative of our relationship.
When employees choose to move on from my company (or team in the past) I always take it very personally. Like somehow their reason for leaving was my fault and I think hard about what I could have done differently. It can be very defeating to invest the time and energy and then have things end abruptly. Sometimes even the leader, needs a pick me up to get their head back on straight and regain focus. Yesterday, I received a note from someone who worked for me for less than a year and way back in 2007. I haven’t heard from him since he left my company and then suddenly, out of nowhere, I received the below message on Facebook:
“How are you Adam, it has been years my man. I sincerely hope you’ve only encountered positivity in your life and have been thriving as you rightfully deserve to. You are without a doubt one of the most epic and motivating bosses I’ve had in my life. On top of that you are also one of the most genuine people I’ve had the privilege to call a friend. Keep doing your thing and I have no doubt you will reach the pinnacle of greatness.
I hope your family – wife, kids, brother, and father are all doing amazingly well, as it has been a blessing crossing all of their paths in my lifetime. You may not know this, but for the short duration I was under your management, I learned and absorbed more from your words and wisdom than from anyone else. I can honestly say that people like you are game changers. In our lives you either have your head above water or you drown and in your case you’re cruising on a yacht passing those who will never be able to keep up with your innate skills, knowledge, experience and abilities. You’re truly fortunate, you work hard and you’ve got every angle handled. I appreciate all that you have done for me.”
This made my day/week/month/life and has motivated me to trust my gut and to continue to invest heavily in motivating, guiding and developing my team. If I can manage to change others lives like I did his, then that really is something special.