Maybe it’s the Catholic school
upbringing or just my grandmother’s words spoken to me as a child, but I’ve
long put faith in the term “things happen for a reason”. Now, don’t get me
wrong, I do believe each person has a large part in defining who they are and
where they are going. But, I also believe that in business, as in our personal
lives, we have individuals come and go for a reason. Sometimes the reasons are
known in the moment while other times the reasons come at a later date.
Over the past few weeks I have been a
firsthand witness to changes that I can only define as “for a reason”. To begin
with, in my day-to-day business, I am dealing with the loss of a longtime
teammate. He was my right hand for nearly five years. But, for personal
reasons, he has chosen to move from the United States back to be with family in
his home country. I will greatly miss Ned. He was an excellent salesman. He was
a confidant. He was someone I genuinely enjoyed spending many hours a day with.
He was an all around good guy.
I am forced now to look not to the past
and good times we had, but to the present and future for my firm, and I
must seek a new teammate. I cannot replace Ned, but I must replace the
position. I believe this change is happening for a reason. For Ned it is an
opportunity as a young professional to explore opportunities to build upon his
career that are truly global, and for me and my firm, this is an opportunity to
bring someone into the organization with fresh perspective. We will bring
someone with sales experience, management experience, and full of hope and
ideas for growth. I can say things happen for a reason and in this case we will
use this as an opportunity to begin a new chapter of business expansion.
On the personal side I am faced with the
loss of a neighbor. He has announced that he will be moving his family from
across the street to a new home several miles away. Now, you may say so what,
what’s the big deal. It is not as much of an impact on me as it is on my
youngest daughter. Her best friend is moving. Her confidant. The person she
spends hours per day with. Her “other sister”.
For young children this type of announcement is tough to swallow. But,
again, things happen for a reason. As my daughter gets older and is becoming
more mature, this will be an opportunity for her to expand her network of
friends, move beyond the comfort zone, and to explore her boundaries. She is
not losing a friend, as I’ve told her, she is gaining new opportunities and challenges.
Although these are simple examples of
change, in both examples I watched others around me react with concern, get
upset, and wonder “what now?” In life we will all be faced with challenges, with
change, and it is how we choose to accept these challenges and change that will
not only define who we are, but show others who we are.
Living my life with the belief that things
happen for a reason has not always been easy. It is not easy to accept the
sudden and tragic loss of a four year old boy. What reason is there for such a
thing. Cancer diagnosis is again no laughing matter and something that one will
ask themselves “why them” or “why me”. Looking beyond the immediate situation,
but to the what comes next has helped me learn that life is short, change is
inevitable, and things really do happen for a reason. You may be smacked square
in the face with the reason or you may need time to seek the reason out. But,
no matter what, things happen for a reason.