forgive me the fortnight

Hi. Come on in.

Here, go ahead and have a seat. We had a meeting last night, me and the guys upstairs. We were wrestling with a lot of difficult topics, and your name came up. We all decided, unanimously, that you deserve to know what was discussed.

Basically, what we did was an evaluation… a kind of cradle-to-grave retrospective of our entire engagement thus far. No, no, this wasn’t motivated by anything specific, no performance issues or concerns or anything like that – it’s just a practical thing to do to evaluate the health of a project as you go along, so that’s what we did. All the top experts will tell you it’s just something you should do, it’s good business.

So anyway, I hope I haven’t got you sweating or anything… I’ve actually got a really positive message for you. You see, we all agreed last night, sitting around that table, that you are by far the best thing that’s ever happened to the organization. Your skillset meshes with our culture seamlessly, and, even going back to the awkward formative stages of our relationship – your contributions provided positive guidance in shaping our ultimate direction. Not even trying, the board was able to recall several specific instances where your unwavering dedication and support have generated outcomes we would’ve otherwise likely missed in your absence. I’m not going to go into them all here, I mean, you probably remember them as well or better than we did, but I do feel it’s worth mentioning a few just to reiterate to you how much we truly do value what you’ve done for us.

Take for example the way you steered the organization out of the weeds, so to speak, so very early on. I’m sure you’ll recall that, at that point in time, our mission statement and goals as an organization were fairly undefined. In fact, we were pretty much all over the map. Just the notion that you were able to see the underlying nobility in our muddled intentions is impressive, but even more so is the way your simple presence helped untie those knots and focus us on where we wanted to go. You truly did impart your virtue to the firm in those first months and years, and in small part we owe to you the nature of the corporation we’ve become. Your rational urgings and positive influence really raised our stock, focused us less on our then mentality of immediate gratification and profit-taking and more on a business model that’s long-term viable and less personally taxing. Had your oversight not directed us in those days, we might still be off knee-deep in those weeds, searching for a direction or creed to ally with – the best of our intentions lost to our own indecisiveness and greed. It’s this “righting of the ship” we wanted to specifically recognize today as part of this discussion.

And furthermore, we wanted to pointedly call out and give a little praise for the level-headed steadfastness you offered during the whole (now miserably embarrassing) failed “acquisitions phase” we went through. I know we’ve post-mortemed that period to death, but we wanted to again thank you for sticking by us through the growing pains there. In the end, your metered criticisms managed to refocus us on our core business, and you managed to do it without personal compromise, which is impressive. As a relatively junior member of the team, you showed a heck of a lot of foresight maintaining a belief in the long-term prospects of the firm rather than jumping ship. We recognize that must have been a difficult professional decision on your part, and we’re pretty much eternally grateful you decided to continue your contributions. And the board, we’ve long now been vocal about the mistakes we made as we tried to over-posture the scope of the business at that time – we’re just glad it’s all water under the bridge.

Well, I said I wasn’t going to run down your resume here, but I look to be getting off track just a bit on that. You’ll have to forgive me, but I feel like I have to make a couple more points to really communicate the nature of the discussion we had last night – it’s all positive, so it should at least be easy to listen to. And, I know we reviewed some of those previous accomplishments already when you (rightfully) made partner some eight years ago, but it seemed appropriate to at least revisit them quickly today to frame the message. So, again apologies for the long-windedness here, I’ll try and pick up the pace.

Finally, and this is really the bottom line here, is what our talk last night settled on, I want to talk briefly about your latest project. Honestly, candidly, the launch of that project just a couple years ago, and the tremendous amount of fruit it’s been able to bear since, have been the crown jewel in this company’s short history. I know the near year of solid effort you put into getting this thing off the ground was no small task, and the other members of the board certainly agree. What’s more, the dedication you’ve shown to the new businesses you’ve grown since is simply outstanding.

We hope, as a company, we’ve been able to assist you where we can – but we realize that this thing is by and large your doing. Never before have we been able to truly sit back and look on with amazement at such a thriving development, it’s a first in company history. And, quite frankly, we hope to see it happen again. With the skill and determination you’ve shown us in expertly crafting and now shepherding it to continued success of its own, you’ve created a near-organic perpetual-motion snowball of success – and we honestly think you can offer a repeat performance, we have that much faith in your ability. I can’t begin to describe in enough detail how much the addition of that project to this company’s portfolio has changed our entire paradigm for the better. We’re a stronger company, we practically self-generate revenue, and we’ve never been aimed higher.

So, in summary, and I’m hoping you understand that gravity of what we’re trying to get across here – we just wanted to thank you for your time, and let you know we intend to continue to live up to what you deserve as the primary contributor you are. We wouldn’t be what or where we are today without you, it just couldn’t have happened better than it has. From the perspective of the directors, you’ve molded us, helped to define us, and pushed us when we needed pushing. We are sure that, with a continued level of teamwork consistent with our relationship thus far, there’s no place we can’t take this business. Our shareholders deserve the best, and together we know we can continue to impress and deliver.

Thanks for everything you’ve done, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for the firm. Our deepest respect and gratitude to you.

One Reply to “forgive me the fortnight”

  1. Not to burst any bubbles here, but you know that the latest project would have never launched the without the infusion of a “business plan” from an confidential outside consultant, right?

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