On Friday, I was given one of the best gifts I can ever fathom.
It was not merely a material possession that I highly desired, but it meant, and means, much more. No, it isn’t a white iPhone. It’s actually better.
Friday was an impossible day for me. One that I never thought would happen, and avoided for almost seven years. I’ve moved to a new company, a new opportunity, and a new team. On my way out, I realized that I left as I came. My first day at the job, they clapped as we walked in, welcoming us to the team. Friday, I was happily clapped out, all wishing well as I crossed the threshold one last time. Not only that, but a good friend of mine also wrote on my Facebook wall saying she was clapping me out from the West Coast.
It was surreal, and fantastic. But it wasn’t until I was in the car with my wife and daughter that I really got something special. In a bag that was given to me was a book. The book that I almost bought that morning as I bought my usual “medium Pike with room” from Starbucks.
Onward, How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul – by Howard Schultz with Joanne Gordon.
Appropriate and exciting were the immediate words that popped in my head.
And then I opened the pages.
But these pages had been opened before.
Inside, several of my friends (I refuse to call any of them coworkers, as they are far more than that) had written their own inscriptions. Not only inscriptions, but they highlighted phrases throughout the book that meant something to them, and to me. They wrote quotes from other great leaders, and cleverly left me messages throughout. I have turned page by page, and I’m sure I have not yet accounted for all their notes. From my boss’ boss’ boss, to someone who just got hired part-time, many signed. Even my wife snuck her own comment in. (She usually does…Love you hun…)
And for that, I cried.
Onward I go. Onward I read. But the greatest gift was truly their words of friendship, inspiration, and yes, even humor. I’ll never forget my time working with such great people, and I’ll never forget the moment I started to move Onward.