Apparently when my heart fills up I become motivated to blog! There aren't words to describe how I've been feeling this past month. My very first "official" full time employee Josh announced his departure from GORP 28 days ago. Today is the first day without him. Josh found GORP four and a half years ago, right at the beginning of our adventure. I wasn't looking for an employee. . .I couldn't even afford to pay myself, but he persisted. He was certain GORP was the place for him and so I nervously tried to persuade him that he didn't want the job, he'd have to wear SOOOO many hats, I could go bankrupt at any moment, no promises, no guarantees, no benefits, nothing! I guess I said all the right things because he was IN! I was inspired by his incredible passion. . .
And that was that. For those of you who have met him at demos, trade shows, or had the pleasure of dealing with him in any capacity, you know EXACTLY what we've lost. I firmly believe he was God's gift to me as a new aspiring and deeply flawed leader. He challenged my ideals, and questioned EVERYTHING. . .every single thing. He is one of the few people I know who is true to their character, even when nobody is looking. As sad as I'm feeling, and despite the hole in our company, my heart is filled with gratefulness that he gave us the years that he did. I maintain that the biggest lie in marketplace culture is that "It's just business". . .it's NEVER JUST business.
When people truly get behind your dream there is an incredible sense of responsibility to do right by them. I didn't do everything right as I struggled to learn to lead, and Josh got to watch all my floundering as a person and his "boss". He had the respect to accept my direction (even when I was wrong), he had the grace to extend forgiveness when it was proven so. In turn I tried to honour and encourage him when he made mistakes and give him the freedom and space to pursue his passions. . .even when they took him away from us. . .NOT EASY JOSH!! But at the end of the day, your people aren't yours. . .they are giving you the gift of their time and it's up to us as employers and friends to make sure we are adding THE GOOD STUFF to their life experience, even if it means they move on. I had no concept when I started GORP that people would take up the majority of my heart and my time. . .Josh, you believed in me from the start, you suffered through my trials and lessons, you loved my kids, you put up with INSANE amounts of change and gave your all. The entire GORP team is feeling the loss today. . .and aren't we so grateful for that? When it hurts to say good-bye. . .it's a good thing.
Josh, you left your mark on our company and we are better for it, you will always have your GORP family cheering you on. . .Adventure on my friend.