|Jonathan living his dream!|
The guys at work were his family. And throughout the funeral process we treated them as such. They had reserved seating, they helped select items to display at the funeral, and they were the pall bearers. We even had one of our work trucks in the procession. They loved Jonathan. He was their boss, their friend, and their big brother. As one employee told me, "He was the best boss we've ever had." Watching him fall apart was just as hard on them, as it was on me. And his death shook their world.
So when God told me to keep the business, I was intimidated. I knew I had BIG shoes to fill. They adored Jonathan, and they had this bond that I can't even explain. He knew how to build a culture in that company which causes employees to spend their own money to buy each other logo apparel. Really? Who besides the owner does that? He knew how to get them invested in the company. And he was an amazing business man. He was smart. He had a system and a procedure for each part of the business. He had a strategic plan that worked. He was a national example and leader in the industry. At the national convention people would seek him out for advice and information. How could I ever compare to that?
|Jonathan hard at work.|
I'm true to who I am and its working. The pieces I bring to the leadership of the business were greatly needed. My team has welcomed me with open arms, and together we are forging a new future for the company. What Jonathan started, we are continuing. And we are now the heart and soul of the company. When I first started I would say, "this isn't my passion. It was his." But today I can no longer say that. I love what I am doing. I love working with an amazing team of sharp, dedicated, and talented young men. And somehow the business has become a part of me.
Lately I've been wishing that I had something very special of Jonathan's to remember him by. Something that was important to him that I could keep. And I realize that I do. Its not tangible. I can't hold it or put it in a drawer. Rather its a place that I go, its a team I work with which he assembled and developed, its a vision we all work towards. I have his most precious possession with me always, his business.