Gord was about half
vibrated. He glanced at the caller ID. Seeing Tom’s name he took the call.
“Gord, it’s Tom,”
his accountants voice said. “How was your weekend?”
relaxing. The calm before the storm. And you?”
“Well I spent some of it
looking at your numbers and I think there is good news. With the investments
we’ve made over the last ten years I think there will be enough money to buy
out Ralph without having to touch the key assets you have for retirement.”
Gord had hoped this would be
the case. He had spent some of the
weekend looking at the same numbers and had come to a similar conclusion. “What do you think I will have to sell?”
“I’ll e-mail you a list and
show you where it all stands. We can
talk later today about the details.”
Gord said as he breathed a sigh of relief. “I’ll talk to you later.”
He pulled into his parking
spot feeling energized by the prospect of a new beginning and headed to his
office. This day was starting off well.
Gord did his usual routine
with his receptionist As he walked past Tim’s office, he noted that the door was
closed. He began to wonder what that was
about. He set his brief case on his desk
and turned on his computer to check his e-mail. Sureenough
there was the e-mail from Tom at the top of the list. It had just been sent, one of about fifty
e-mails from the weekend. He began
deleting the junk mail and glanced at the in
on his desk. There were a couple of
pieces of paper that he gathered as he multi-tasked looking to see if there was
He focused on the list of
investments in his portfolio and the recommendations from Tom. With only a few minor changes they had come
to mostly the same conclusions. His long
term investments were going to pay off now and he congratulated himself on the
prudence of his investment strategy.
He turned his attention to
the stack of paper on his desk. The
first couple of pieces were of little consequence, but the third one made him
stop and sit up in his chair.
I hereby submit my official resignation from the firm of Boyd and Duhart
effective today at noon.
has been a pleasure working for you and I appreciate all the opportunities
you’ve given me to practice law. I have
taken a position with another firm that I believe will provide increased
opportunities for my future career.
you for your generosity and your investment in me.
Gord sat in shock. “Not all investments pay off,” he
thought. Tim had been one of the guys he
had seriously considered taking with him in the new firm. Tim was the brightest young lawyer they had
and Gord thought they had established a relationship. Gord picked up his phone and called Tim
“Tim?” Gord asked.
“Yes,” Tim replied.
“I just read your letter and it’s
quite a shock. I’d like to talk to
you. Can you come down to my office?”
“Yes,” Tim replied
again. “I’ll be right there.” Tim had anticipated the call and was ready
for the conversation. He knew he owed
Gord an explanation, but wanted to resign first and talk later rather than the
other way around. He didn’t want Gord
talking him out of resigning and he didn’t want to be pathetic about it either.
Tim walked to Gords
office a little nervous, but also with some joy, knowing that he was making the
right move. Both men shared the sense of
moving on to something better, but neither was getting the exact picture they
wanted. Gord hadn’t thought about his
picture very much, but he had an intuitive sense that he wanted to take a
couple of people with him and Tim was one of those people.
Tim had given a little more
thought to his picture and he knew that he wanted a mentor. He liked and respected Gord, but had never
sensed that Gord was interested in being his mentor. Part of his decision to move on to the new
firm was the prospect of being mentored by the senior partner there.
Gord took a deep breath and
thought about how to handle this meeting. He wouldn’t try to convince Tim to stay, but he would at least try to
find out why he was leaving.
“Tim,” Gord started, “I have
to admit I’m quite surprised. I see you as one of the fast horses here and I’d
hoped you’d have a long career with us. Can you tell me about the other position and what made you decide to
“Well, it all happened pretty
quickly. A recruiter called last week
and talked to me about a job with Johnson and Dunn in Coleville just ten
minutes from my house. My wife and I had
dinner with the senior partner this weekend and decided to take him up on his
offer. I’ll be working closely with him
learning the ropes and I’ll have the opportunity to take over the office in a
couple of years. It wasn’t anything you
guys did wrong; it was really the idea of working with Jack Dunn that was the
most attractive part. Jack has offered
to mentor me and I think I really need that at this point in my career. We have a lot of lawyers here and to be
honest, I think it’s time for me to get to a place where I can be less
in the crowd.”
Gord’s heart sank. It wasn’t that Tim was an investment gone bad. He knew he hadn’t really invested in Tim. He liked Tim and appreciated his abilities,
but he hadn’t taken the time to invest in him… or as he thought about it, anyone
else for that matter.
Gord thought about his
investments. He and his accountant had both
spent the weekend thinking about his financial investments, but Gord hadn’t
given any thought to his people investments. All of the time and energy they had put into his financial investments would
allow him to move, but he had neglected to invest in people, and the person who
might be the best suited to come with him was now lost.
Tim was an investment
opportunity missed. Tim kept talking –
more nervous rambling than anything – but Gords mind had
drifted. What could he have done
differently? What would an
investment in Tim have looked like? What
would be the cost of investing in people?
Gord apologized for not
giving Tim more of his time and both men knew that it was too late. “Life is about investments…,”
Gord thought. “… and so is leadership. I need to start investing my life in the
things I really care about.”
Vision For Your Life is an investment leaders make in
themselves and the people they lead.