After shutting off all communications for the weekend, I decided to listen to all my voice mails and read all my texts and emails.  A few thought I was full of it with my reason for leaving but in reality were just plain worried about me.  The majority of the messages brought me to tears, hence the name of this post.

Again, I was so surprised at some of the folks that stepped forward and took the time to let me know how they felt.  I was also surprised by some who didn’t contact me.  This is where the life lessons fall into place. Not everyone that you thought were your friends really are and that is a tough lesson to swallow.

One of my biggest requirements when I would do a training would be to bring value and as I said in an earlier post, I wasn’t feeling that towards the end of my time on the road.  From the messages I received about changing someone’s life or helping them make the decision to stay, I would say I must have done a good job.

When the initial wave of messages slowed down, I was able to breathe again…until a week later.  I received an email from an agent that absolutely, positively made me stop in my tracks and I had to close the door in my office because I burst into tears, and not just a tear or two.  Here is what he wrote:

I was going to send an email to you earlier after receiving the one from Tom saying that you were going to be leaving the Company after June. I just didn’t know what to say then. But here it goes from the heart.

I have only been with the company for about 2 ½ years. Before you came to IN for the first time Tom built you up pretty big, as one of the greats in our company. My thoughts were whatever, remembering that Tom also is in sales. That meeting you delivered on his words in spades. I have learned something from you at every meeting since. You are living proof that someone can make it and continue to be a success in our great company. A new agent went with me to the last IN meeting that you were at and he too was very impressed with your organization, techniques, and love for our company.

I find it a privilege to attend your last University and will be inspired by you throughout my career. I do not know what lies in your future but I am sure that you will be a success in it. I will probably mess up the quote but when I hear your name I am reminded: “Managers try to light a fire under people, but Leaders ignite the fire within people”. You are a Leader.

And he signed it your friend for life…

Is there anything else to say? I will cherish this forever and when a day comes that isn’t the most perfect, I will have this to get me through it.  As I’m reading this I am blubbering away so I will continue later.

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