It was April 16, 2007. I didn’t know what I was getting into, what exactly it would be like nor how long I’d be there. It was my first day at Incite and I’d just come from leaving work on my MBA behind so my head was in a bit of a spiral. All I know now is that the worry of that day turned into one of my best ever decisions. What I’ve taken from being an Inciter is far more than I could ever possibly give back. As such, leaving last fall was one of the toughest decisions I’ve faced and was only spurred on by my desire to explore work back in the sports world.
As I’ve reflected on my years there and my departure, a few things have resonated and will stick with me.
You can run a business with friends
Jared and Ted always said a major motivation for them starting Incite was the desire, as friends, to work together but also to bring in more friends as part of the team. That was definitely true. I was always amazed at how quickly I was part of the family and how new Inciters, a mere month into their tenure, were indispensable team members. I always felt I was working with friends. Yes, that sounds hokey but it’s absolutely true. Friends and colleagues can be synonyms.
The high road is always open
Business can be cutthroat with people regularly looking out for self-interest. Ted and Jared believed strongly that the high road is always an option and should be the option unless it’s impossible. Often this road wasn’t in the immediate best interest of us as a company but that didn’t matter if it was the right thing to do. This will stick with me forever.
Belief from people is powerful
I certainly had moments in my time at Incite that I was not at my best. Mostly that was related to my own anxiety, depression or insecurity yet the support from people around me never wavered. In fact that support was felt more than ever at those times. Being named a director, being asked to become a partner, hearing the kind words from our team about how I’d supported them, being asked “how can I help” after deciding I was going to move on - these all led to me believing more in myself. I can’t begin to express how important this was to me.
Vulnerability can be taught
I don’t claim to be an open book. That’s never really been my forte. That has changed because of my time at Incite. Largely I think this came through our work with Roy Group and the development of our coaching culture. This put me in situations where opening up seemed like the right and comfortable thing to do. I can still remember at one of our Victoria management retreats, we were sent out of the main room to work in pairs. With Ted as my partner, I remember coming to tears over some stuff I was uncovering about myself. That would’ve never happened before.
My favourite memories
There are many but here are a few:
- My screen display getting flipped upside down but the monitor being left alone
- Our trips to Victoria and time as a management team
- Our friendship with everyone at Roy Group – those sessions changed me
- The camaraderie on our 10th anniversary trip to Jasper
- Incite Nights – car rallies, kite building/less successful flying, Iron Chef
- The random laughter coming from all over in the current office
- Tunes at Two
- The intensity of our hockey playoff auctions
- Daily quizzes
- Our community excursions (Running for Christy, Food Bank etc.)
- My incredible monthly meetings with the Account Executives (thanks for being so open)
I will always be an Inciter. Whether that means I’m back in those doors as an employee or I’m espousing the values and knowledge I gained to people around me, this chapter of my life will always be one of the most profound.
Mostly though, I just want to say thank you.
…to Ted and Jared for taking a chance on me.
…to my fellow partners and directors for being such great mentors.
…to our project managers and administration team who always kept everything ticking.
…to all the Account Executives I worked with over the years for teaching me more than I did any of you.
…to our web team who were always so patient with my crazy questions.
…to our incredible designers, writers and planners – I continuously marveled at the ingenuity.
To everyone and everything that made it an incredibly special 8+ years...a million times, thank you.