By: Tom Cullen / January 22, 2016
Earlier this week I sent this email to our team. It’s something that I have been trying to write for weeks but could only just now bring myself to do. To be honest, it took some tears to write. Not surprisingly, since I sent it, the love and support I’ve received from the team has grown even more. A few people asked me to share it, so here it goes.
As I think you all know, my sister’s husband Keith was a gym teacher and football coach just outside of Buffalo, NY. He was the kind of guy that everyone knows. Everyone in town either played for him, cheered on his teams, or had a beer with him at the town picnic. He was even my own football coach in 7th grade before my sister ever even knew him. He was the guy that was everyone’s friend. On December 7th, my mom called with the worst news I could imagine. Keith had been in his office, had a massive heart attack and died.
Shock, sadness, despair.
These feelings were something that I had never, ever felt to this level. It was devastating. My sister is 41 and has two boys ages 12 and 13.
At the time I was in the office and had gotten some frantic text messages. “Pray Harder” was the one that sticks out the most. A little while later my cell rang. I got up from my desk to answer and ran to the fire escape stairs as my mom told me the news. After the call, I tried to compose myself, walked back into the office and saw Scott and Brendan standing in the kitchen. I told them what happened, grabbed my stuff and left.
My sister and her kids needed me. I needed them.
But I also realized, I needed you all too.
One of the things that I liked when we started LaunchPad, was the flexibility we got. If you have a Dr appointment or your kids have a game, you can schedule around it. We can work on our own projects and call our own shots. That being said, we need to make sure that we drive to provide for our employees, customers, and partners. They are all relying on us. Since I play the sales role for us, and we are a services business, ensuring the pipeline is full and our customers are happy is crucial. The fact is, that the flexibility is met with knowing that the world stops for no one.
This is why I am so thankful for you guys. You are THE most outstanding employees, business partners and customers. It is when you feel so sad and desperate as I felt (and still often feel), that I have really been able to reflect on how great it is to have you all step up. That Monday in December, you didn’t blink. You took whatever immediate responsibilities that were necessary and happily took any work that I forwarded for as long as I needed. (Still going on.)
The truth is, we have been through this before in a different context. Since we started this company, we have had babies, weddings, funerals, surgeries and more. We are often called to step in and perform to pull the slack for a team member. Lately, I have especially been that team member that has needed that help and as always you performed like a championship winning team. Actually, you acted like we were family.
And you know what? That’s exactly what we are.
Thank you so so much.
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