Imagine getting a letter like this one, shortly after your spouse’s death:

I am sorry to learn of the death of your husband, Alex. During the 17 years he worked here, Alex was a valued and dedicated employee and we appreciate his contributions to the company.

My sympathy to you, and the other members of your family in your loss.


This very letter was sent to the mother of a coaching client, who gave me permission to share it with you.*  It was written and signed by the CEO.

What an expression of gratitude! There is a lot written into that short letter.

Here are a few things to consider:

1) This CEO took time out to write a personal letter. Although notes of gratitude or sympathy should be common, they aren’t. Is there anyone you need to send a note to?

2) Alex gave 17 years of dedicated service to one company, exhibiting the kind of loyalty that is rarely seen today. Who has your loyalty? To what degree?

3) The contributions Alex made to the organization were not soon forgotten. What will you be remembered for? What do you need to keep, start, or stop doing to enhance or increase your contribution?

Now for the surprising part of the story: at the time of his passing, Alex had been gone from this company for over ten years!

Think back to where you were ten years ago. How do you think you would be remembered by those people? How do you remember them? Perhaps there is someone you knew ten years ago who needs to hear of your gratitude right now.

Now, consider where you are today. How will you be remembered in another ten years?

I can tell you, my client was elated to read that letter about her father. I hope her willingness to share it with you will cause you to think about your past contributions, and more importantly, to take action for your future.

Live today so that you’ll be worthy of a letter like that someday.

Remember… Every Day is Game Day!

*This letter is quoted here with the client’s knowledge and permission. Some identifying details have been changed.