There may be times throughout the year that Matt and I spend a little too much time pontificating on what should be happening in the world of business and communications as opposed to donating more space and thoughts to people and best practices we should be celebrating. I know we strive to provide a healthy balance. Consider this is one of those times.
Without getting too sentimental, year-end is for many a time of reflection with a scrutinizing look back and a hopeful look ahead. It is also a time to appreciate stations in life and work and people who have been instrumental in getting you there. Today restored my faith in the latter. A client with whom our firm has enjoyed a mutually beneficial 20-years of collaborations today informed me that they were amenable to flexibility on a project budget gone astray; in other words, they expressed a willingness to pay for costs incurred over and above a previously agreed upon budget. There were a range of factors at work here. They could have said no but after thoughtful discussion, they didn’t.
A year ago, that same client, after a once again transparent and honest dialogue, allowed our firm to begin working simultaneously with one of their competitors. It is unheard of in our industry. It was as selfless an act on their part that I have ever experienced in my 30+ years in business (with today coming a close second). It also came at a dark time in my personal life that this client talked me through over dinner. I am not too “manly” to admit that I was literally moved to tears. This is not just a valued client. This is a friend.
They say relationships are all-important and they are. But, as Matt and I discussed today’s events, he suggested it was also something more – a client who operates in-step with our values; one who lives and breathes integrity and mutual respect with its clients, its business partners and its employees. Such a tone is set at the top and that dynamic is definitely in play here. It is a modus operandi all too rare but one to be emulated, celebrated and inspired by. Perhaps a New Year’s resolution for those not already there.