Extraordinary

Extraordinary describes the experiences, people and clients I have had in my career. With less than three weeks left before leaving Deloitte and going sailing, I have been reflecting on the past and looking forward to the future. It’s exciting. It’s complex. It’s challenging.

One memory kept coming back to me this week. A memory I will never forget. It is hard to measure the impact we have on other people’s lives. Most of the time we have no idea until a tragic event occurs.

Prior to the acquisition of Xcelicor, one of our employees (I’ll call him John) was extremely ill, and having difficulties at work. We encouraged John to take some time off and get medical assistance. We soon found out he was diagnosed with cancer. The doctors told his family it was terminal, and he had a short time to live.

This terrible news came soon after we announced to our employees that Deloitte was acquiring our firm. Our COO and some good friends went to spend time with John in the hospital. His situation was bleak. His attitude was upbeat. John always had a great outlook on life, was a lot of fun, and had a passion for his colleagues, clients and photography.

Within weeks John passed away. Prior to his death, John told his father he wanted to be buried wearing his Xcelicor shirt. His father sent his company shirt to be neatly pressed for his burial. I will never forget John’s father walking up to me at his viewing, putting his arm around me and saying “Mark, John loved your company and the people he worked with - don’t let anyone screw it up.” Our company had an extraordinary impact on John. John had an extraordinary impact on us.

I keep in my office the memorial notice from John’s funeral. His memory reminds me the impact we have on others, the significance of living life, and the importance of being passionate about what we do.

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