Nearly three years ago, I joined Context Optional. At the time, there were 15 incredibly smart, super talented people working to change the world of social media marketing. We succeeded under the leadership of one of the most intelligent, empowering and innovative leaders I’ve ever known. This week marks his last at this incredible company he’s grown from the ground up. It was his ideas, his leadership, his trust, his innovations that led Context Optional to where we are now — part of one of the most well-known tech companies in the world.
There is no amount of gratitude I can express that will adequately describe how he and the opportunities he’s created have changed my life. Alas, I must try.
Thank you for taking a chance on me. For hiring me without ever meeting me in person. For placing me in a role that wasn’t clearly defined and for trusting me to help define it.
Thank you for throwing me head-first into situations where I was uncomfortable, and forced to learn and grow. Thank you for trusting that I would be successful in those situations.
Thank you for realizing I actually shouldn’t be designing a web site.
Thank you for listening to me. For making my voice heard. For bringing my ideas to life and for empowering me to test and try and fail and get back up again.
Thank you for setting the example of what a leader and a boss should be. For inspiring me to lead and for giving me the opportunities to do so.
Thank you for making it a rite of passage for everyone to build their own IKEA desk on their first day.
Thank you for not laughing at me when I cried under pressure and for ensuring there were more times of laughter than of tears.
Thank you for always being the first to express appreciation and for always rewarding hard work.
Thank you for letting the two women in the office decorate the women’s restroom and keep all the men out.
Thank you for your patience. Your encouragement. Your drive to succeed, as contagious as ever, has led us here.
Thank you for trusting me and my intuition.
Thank you (I think) for moving a company party from a BDSM show to somewhere HR would actually approve of.
Thank you for creating a work environment where everyone wakes up and wants to go to work. This includes (but is not limited to) the whiskey and pizza parties, the ping pong table, catamaran rides, costume contests and sponsored happy hours.
Thank you for encouraging me on my road of self discovery. For helping me to see the bigger picture that lies beyond daily tasks.
Thank you for being a coach and a mentor and for making it okay to ask even the most seemingly silly questions.
Thank you for bringing Kanye West into our office.
Thank you for embracing my sass and overly-transparent nature. And thank you for helping me reign it in.
Thank you for designating a rubber duck as our mascot and not providing any sort of backstory other than “they were the cheapest item on OrientalTrading.com” as the reason why they are, in fact, our mascot.
Thank you for supporting and encouraging my personal and professional development. For helping me attend events, conferences and classes.
Thank your dad for being the most valuable follower on the Context Optional Twitter account.
Thank you for condoning my personal social media presences, and for making the time to read and follow along.
Thank you for always making me feel valued, respected and supported regardless of my age or experience.
These three years have been the most rewarding years of my life. I would not be where I am today without you and your guidance. I know this isn’t the last I’ll be seeing of you. Thanks, Kevin. And good luck.
It’s easy to be the best you can be, and want to be even better, when your led by the greatest of them all.