We live in a cynical world of tough competitors . . .

Aug 1, 2008 Michael Wurzer

There’s a lot corny about Tom Cruise’s “you complete me” dialog at the end of Jerry Maguire but the part that always sticks with me is where he says something like “we live in a cynical world of tough competitors.” Implicit is that there’s something more to life and I’ve been fortunate to witness that this week.

It’s been a long week around here working on the ARMLS conversion. Not much sleep and lots of work. Fortunately, that hard work is paying off. We certainly have tuning yet to do on the system but we’ve gotten over the core networking issues that were plaguing us early in the week. Jaison Freed and Cal Heldenbrand pulled an amazing all-nighter on Wednesday to re-build our firewall configurations from scratch and split our web farms, which were the key networking issues. Jaison’s effort was especially amazing given that he had pulled an all-nighter Monday night as well. Another stellar performer, working through illness and little sleep, James Ridley, summed up on Twitter how I feel exactly:

A really tough week, but I saw some great reactions to some really adverse situations. It’s awesome to work with people like that.

I’ve named a few co-workers but the reality is that literally everyone in the company has been nose to grindstone, doing great work. What an amazing group of people. Sometimes I found myself wondering if the stress is worth “it” but what I’m realizing is that “it” isn’t a monetary reward or other “win” but the relationships we build through life. So, yes, it’s worth it.

The reactions of our employees have been matched equally by the reaction of our long-time customers. These are people who’ve been there with us through thick and thin, and continued to show their humanity this week. These are people who are watching our company grow and celebrating with us even though that growth has impacted them negatively this week. In our cynical world, there aren’t many people who can reach those heights and so we’re very fortunate to have so many of them as clients. I’ve received many e-mails of support from clients and friends in the industry this week, and to all who’ve written, I want you to know it means so much.

At the same time, the newarmls.com blog is blazing away with rants and insults from a few drowning out meaningful discussion by others. I begrudge no one their anger but find it unproductive as well. Richard Park’s comment (#247) rebuffing the ranters hit home with me: “Do you think that those in charge of the system are sitting in their chairs gloating over your difficulties? Don’t you think they are feeling enough pressure and motivation to get things going without your trying to kick them in the gut while they do it?” No one here at FBS has shrunk from or denied the problems we had this week, but the cynical nature of some people does amaze me.

But what it really does is highlight by contrast how amazing the people are who rise above their frustrations and anger and seek out solutions and dialog. Those are the people I want to do business with. For them, we’ll walk through crushed glass with bare feet (or at least stay up all night) to help them. Why? Because we’re helping another human being. A person. That the “it’ in all of this.

Though all the people I’ve worked with and spoken to this week are the inspiration for this post and my work, the fire that lit my energy again enough to write the post was from an e-mail sent to me by David Newcombe at Russ Lyon | Sotheby’s International Realty. David was caring enough to solicit positive feedback from some of the others in his office and sent it along to me and the great team at ARMLS with the following note (which I hope he doesn’t mind me sharing because I’m not going to e-mail him to ask at this time of the morning):

” So, for anyone feeling down or pissed off – here are the GOOD NEWS emails. Please pass on as you wish to the incredible teams at ARMLS and Flex, with love from Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty……..”

In this cynical world, this kind of support builds relationships that make the effort worth “it”. We move beyond objects to people. Humans. Amazing and beautiful. Now, back to work.

P.S. I’m having to moderate comments because, I believe, some of our firewall changes are preventing Akismet from handling the comment spam.