Last Sunday Michael Caldwell shared his experience of being fired (2 weeks earlier).  I was blown away!!!  How would you respond?  I want you to read Mike’s story…. 

“A couple of weeks ago I received a message from the new RVP of our company asking to meet with me for lunch to discuss the plans we wanted to put in place for our business in 2017… I was sitting at the table waiting on her to arrive with all of my material out when I saw her pull up. Body language and material in hand told me quickly what was coming and the first thing she said as she sat down was

I looked at her for a moment and simply said “why”? The response was simply that the company wanted to go in another direction and since the sales numbers were not where they needed to be the management team felt that a change was needed.

Once I got on the road I immediately called my team to inform them and encourage them all to remain diligent to the goals we had in front of us. Emotions were running high and were all over the map as I made my way home. Feelings of sadness, anger, failure, and helplessness combined with many thoughts as i drove home. What was I going to do? How would I pay my bills? Why did this happen when she doesn’t even know me? Did anybody consider all the challenges we had gone through? How do I tell my wife and kids? I made the call to the HR director and talked about the details that would need to be addressed. 

Saturday morning I woke up and began to write a letter to my team. For me, taking time to write things down gives me the opportunity to face my feelings and bring clarity to them. My daughter had a big presentation on Monday so I decided not to tell my children until that was over. Writing my team was a way for me to release all of the stress and pressure that I had tried to hide from them and to say thank you. I placed it in my drafts and over the course of the next 24 hours read and adjusted it multiple times. 

Sunday morning I forced myself to get dressed knowing that going to church was an activity that I could not afford to miss. No, I did not want to be around anyone and I certainly did not want to explain what had happened. Still, God has brought me this far and to not honor him with my time was never an option. My faith had to take hold of my fear and it was being tested. I sat down at my computer, read my letter to my team one more time, and hit send just before leaving for church.  Here is what I wrote:

Good Morning

As you can imagine, yesterday was not an easy day for me or my family. Life is never simple and the curve balls can complicate things when we least expect it. I am strong in my faith in the midst of the storm and will continue to pray for each of you as I have done for so many months. Our team was on the way back and the numbers are just starting to show it. October was the first time all year that we had a full, functioning team on the ground and the first time we matched last years’ numbers. Together, we were beginning to win the game of small ball and see dealers get excited about supporting us again. It sets you up to be very successful next year and I am pulling for you to really shine and have the kind of  year we were hoping for. As a coach, I am sad that we could not see that through together.

I am thankful to have been given the opportunity to work with each of you. Like Tom Hanks once said, there is “no crying in baseball” and we must move forward knowing that each and every day we took a swing at the fence and just came up a little short. As you know, there were a lot of challenges along the way and sometimes the life we want is hiding in our biggest problems, our worst failures, and our greatest fears. You are incredible, talented people and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to serve alongside each and every one of you not only this past year, but for the 11 previous. I am a better person for it.

I challenge you to look forward and be prepared every day to make a difference with your dealers. Each stop offers you an opportunity to make a difference in their business and in the lives of those you serve. Mohawk is a company with a rich and proud tradition of quality and excellence. Make that your goal each and every day. Leave them with something memorable on every call. Be a teacher, and always ask the questions that provide you with insight into their business. Knowing your competition, and where they are “stealing” your business, is one key to growing. Continue what we started and embrace the challenges that lie ahead.

Create Raving Fans within your dealer base and you will grow beyond expectations. It’s not what you do but why you do it. Great brands start with a vision. Vision – Promise – Personality. I am a fan. Thank you again team 524 for walking with me, for teaching me, and for being willing to share in this journey. I will always be grateful.

Sincerely,   Michael

On Monday morning around 10:30am I received a call from the HR director and he asked how i was doing. Expecting the inevitable and knowing that he had a tough job we chatted for a moment and then got to the task at hand. He explained that there was a need in the company and that I was being offered the opportunity to fill the role. Nothing would change for me except that I would be moving into a marketing position that would allow me to work with my “old” team and the other team that was responsible for the rest of Florida and south GA. One focus, no direct hiring responsibilities, and less day-to-day stress of so many sales initiatives coming from so many directions. The catch, I had to call the very person who had fired me three days earlier to let her know my intentions. 

I placed several phone calls to people that I knew to get advice. Obviously i need a job, but going back so quickly to a place that just dismissed me without much concern for me or my family was creating a lot of mixed reactions from people I confided in. I spoke with one gentleman who ultimately gave me the confidence that it was the correct decision. Not only was it a job he felt i would excel in, but in his opinion it was one of the best jobs in the company and one that would offer me incredible opportunities moving forward. Whether that part is true or not is yet to be seen, but God delivered on a promise and was opening the door for me to continue with what i started and still work with my team.

I called the RVP after lunch and said hello. She immediately asked me how i was doing and remarked on the emotional challenge that a weekend like that presents to someone in my position. It was what she said next that stood out to me. Her next comment was about my letter and how impressed she was with it and the fact that I obviously “get it”. As Christians, it’s how we respond to difficult situations that ultimately set us apart. A letter that I started to clear my head and thank my team was used by God to also open a door. What if i never sent it?”

What a story!!  The truth is, Christians experience the ups and downs of life that everyone does (we are not immune to pain) our response is what impacts others who do not yet know Christ”. 

Michael- Thanks for sharing!!