A simple response

I’ve spent the better part of a year now doing nothing but business development.  Its a rough sport and don’t ever let anyone tell you differently.  The hardest part is definitely ‘the void’.  That place that your emails go to.  That place that your voicemails go to.  That place that seems to suck in all the people that you’re trying to talk to.  I suppose I can understand, its easier to ignore a request that you’ve decided you can’t or won’t deal with than it is to have to disappoint someone.  But it certainly doesn’t feel like it on the receiving end.

But fear not, the void doesn’t get all of us.  There are a stolid few who still recognize the value of acknowledgement and the power of  a simple response.  I wanted to take a moment to thank the universe for someone I’ll call Robin.  As many of you know, I’ve been running for the Board of Directors of Mountain Equipment Co-op (http://mec.ca).  As part of that election process, I was given an email that voters could use to pose questions.  Robin’s question revolved around how a major textile buyer like MEC could work to support Canada’s textile industry.  A simple question.  A complex answer.  I did my best to give Robin a simple response.  Robin took the time to reply back and that email is the highlight of the MEC elections process for me hands down.  Its polite, its honest and it makes me smile every time I read it.  I’m choosing to share it with you as an excellent example of dying art.

Hi Again Jon:

Thank you for getting back to me. Thanks also for the very impressive way you tackled the complex nature of my questions, especially since you don’t have inside access (yet) to the operational information and audit reports.

You might be interested to know that most other MEC Board candidates have spoken along the same lines as you: MEC is not responsible for the status of Canada’s textile industry. Instead, they say, that responsibility rests with the open market which, of course, is then based on the manufacturers’ abilities, and, finally, with the consumers’ subsequent purchase choices.

My personal wish on this issue is that local suppliers and the Canadian textile industry should survive in good order, but without compromising overseas workers in their struggles to earn a decent living, and all the while by ensuring good environmental practices. Jeesh, is such a scenario possible anymore? I don’t know either Jon. I am pleased, however, that you have obviously put some intelligent thought into this matter – even if neither of us knows the solution yet.

Jon, thanks again for your response.

Best wishes,



Jon Holt

A coach, an entrepreneur, and a no-bull advisor in growing small businesses through the use of practical strategy, light-weight governance and sitting back and thinking about running your business, regardless of what you do.

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