You were there…every day!
For me, the end of the year is always a moment of introspection and reflection, during which I take the time to write a message to the employees of Le Groupe Maurice. It has become a tradition. It is my pleasure to share it with you in full here.
My Dear Colleagues,
I’m not telling you anything new when I say that I am a born entrepreneur. And while the recipe for success is often complex, in the mind of an entrepreneur, it’s really quite simple: find the “why” of what you want to do, have vision, discipline and understand and respect your client. Of course the key ingredient, is to surround yourself with a team that you trust and believe in. Simple, right?
At least it was…
Already, our modern society with its appetite for speed, change, fortune – I could go on and on – brought us its fair share of challenges. With our values being taxed every day, the consistency that every good entrepreneur strives for and the ability to focus on the ingredients necessary for success… became increasingly difficult to sustain.
And then came the pandemic…
The world stopped. My universe collapsed. The very core of my being, all that motivated me to wake up happy each morning, was crushed. When something goes wrong, my first instinct, as with many people, is to roll up my sleeves and go to the front line to fight the "enemy". But this pandemic tied our hands. It literally locked us up! More than ever before, I had to learn to juggle the unclear, the unknown, the unbelievable – all at once. Like all of you, I had to learn what it meant to not be in control. To not know. I had to learn to accept the unacceptable. And it wasn’t pleasant.
But 2020 wasn't all doom and gloom. I also saw plenty of grit and glory.
I saw the values of the company rise to the challenge. Deep within me, I felt the strength emanating from the very foundations of what we have built. Because while everything was so gruelling, the uniqueness of our culture and the passion of our convictions created an explosion of superhuman resilience. While collapse seemed inevitable, you stood up and held up strong.
You know, every year I sit in front of my fireplace and pen this traditional message to you. But this year is different. This year, YOU have become my message. YOU are my year, my most cherished ingredient in the recipe for success.
For when the inconceivable became reality and human despair was staring us in the face, you were there; armed with unwavering leadership, indomitable team spirit and remarkable humanity.
As all of humanity's standards were turned upside-down and human lives crumbled, you were there; reinventing yourself day upon day and making herculean efforts to get our residences and our residents’, back to a semblance of normalcy.
When weariness, disappointment, depression and the virus itself crept into our lives, you were there; coming together to help and love despite your own frailty, fears and constant fatigue.
This year has been particularly difficult for me, as I’m sure it has for you. But I can stand here before you today and tell you with complete sincerity, that it was you who ensured my salvation. It was thanks to you that our vulnerable residents had, and continue to have, the strength to persevere through this forbidding period. You were here for all of us, like never before. Besides making me so very proud, you also elevated my confidence for the future, because I now know that you will be there to guarantee the success of the recipe – even if a few ingredients are missing for the moment.
As concerning as it still is today, this crisis will come to an end. It will once again give way to a "why"; and along with it, a vision, discipline, and understanding and respect for the client. Above all, I know we are in the capable hands of a team we can absolutely trust.
But the most beautiful, the biggest, the brightest place… is within you. Because without you, there can be no recipe for success.
From the bottom of my heart, those of my seven vice-presidents and the many whom you’ve made all the difference to in 2020, I say THANK YOU!
I wish you a very happy and a very healthy new year!