On Monday, April 7, 2014 I start a new adventure at TELUS. For the previous five years I held the position ‘Head of Learning and Collaboration’ and worked with hundreds of team members, partners, media and customers. Perhaps the most important relationship I had was with the direct team I was accountable for.
I sent the following note to them as an act of final appreciation.
As I sit here on a Sunday night, I’m reminded of those times as a child when I’d get nervous on the Monday night of Labour Day because a new school year was starting the next day. I became nervous because I didn’t know what to expect. New teacher. New classroom. New classmates. New lunch kit. New backpack. New shoes. New haircut. (Egads!) There was a lot of newness going through my head in anticipation of the unknown. It was a somewhat torturous black hole of uncertainty.
I was nervous for another reason too.
For the previous year I knew what I had been doing on a daily basis. I knew how the routine worked, who I was sitting with and how the teacher responded to my lame attempts at humour. I was comfortable. I understood my place. I knew the shortcuts. Everyone in the class was genuinely cool with the way I acted. I was part of the gang. I was at peace with the surroundings, it being similarly mellifluous and calm to those summer nights I spent at the cottage in Sauble Beach.
When I started at TELUS in mid-November 2008, I had those same nervous feelings the night before I joined you on the team. Would they like me? Would I like them? Would we be able to improve anything? Over time, and with a few subtractions and additions, a natural smoothness overflowed between us while an unmistakable odour of success billowed from coast to coast.
It happened. We happened.
The anxiety and nervousness I felt that night was replaced (over time) by a fortress of commonality and breathtaking change. We did it. We became it. But it was you that allowed me into your gang.
I’ve got those butterflies again tonight. A new adventure awaits me on Monday and I have to put on a new backpack again. It doesn’t feel right, but in time, I believe it will.
I’ve been in your gang for the past five years. I know how it works. It’s comfortable, affectionate and rewarding. I couldn’t ask for anything more.
Thank you for allowing me into your working life. Thank you for accepting me and those ‘out there’ ideas of mine. Thank you for your generosity, reciprocity and sensuosity. I leave with fabulous memories, vivid team accomplishments and true interlocutors for the foreseeable future. It’s been quite a team to be a part of.
Good luck, stay in touch, I’m not going far … and be kind to one another and to your new leader. She is fabulous.
And remember, “We’re not here to see through each other; we’re here to see each other through”.