Wow, this was a tough one. Hard one to write; harder one to do. Heart was where I landed when I first came to South Africa, and if I’m honest it’s been more than a job: it’s been a family, and a mission.
But I have decided to move on. We now need to transfer my work permit to my new employer and until this is done there will be no official announcements. All I will say is that we’re meeting both the letter and the spirit of the laws, and I hope to have this concluded sooner than later so I can begin employment in my new position.
And that this is going to involve a trip back to the States, to be scheduled shortly. Among other things, my SAQA certificate is on file in New York so unless we get alternate advice in short order I’ll be flying back to get that done. We’re trying to figure out how to expedite this whole thing and possibly also combine with some business travel (when in Rome, right?).
But for now, this means I get to see family again, San Francisco, possibly some New England in the autumn, possibly a powerlifting seminar, possibly a visit to Denver. But definitely family, the Golden Gate Bridge, and some Tailgate32.
I do have a nice deliverable I am going to finish before I leave, namely the enterprise diagnostic which will enable Heart to deliver a systematic business acceleration service once I’m gone. As I was recently reminded, if a proprietary system relies on individuals and institutional knowledge, it’s not very valuable. They always say an organisation’s most valuable assets walk out the doors every night, and while this is true, good systems design can mitigate this and reduce the cost of new employee acquisition.
I’m also going to continue with some consulting work I am doing with Greenpop and Sibanye, because it’s the right thing to do and I made commitments to those people while I knew I was leaving and I may be a lot of things but I’m no Steve Mariucci (Cal football coach that I savaged when I was a late teenager for the inappropriateness of impassioned talks of the future with his team then immediately leaving to go coach the 49ers). Those are businesses where the people involved are both intrinsically driven, have good business sense, and have good business models already/more in development. In other words, based on all the research I’ve been doing the last week, the kind of bets you should be making whether you are investing money, time, or emotional attachment.
This is in no ways the end of my relationship with Heart; we’re still working out the exact extent and nature of my ongoing involvement but it will certainly be a lot less time and amount of emotional energy invested. I will be getting some valuable experience and contacts in my new role that will only help me in the future. Would that it were quite that easy; ha!
The details of what happened and why may come later, but the short version is that I was recruited for a position and opportunity that were just too good to pass up. This is not the sort of opportunity that comes along very often in one’s life, and quite frankly I would have been an idiot to turn it down. So I can be stupid sometimes, certainly, but there are limits.
It’s been an interesting experience, to say the least, but I wouldn’t have made the move if I didn’t think I stood to gain a lot. It’s a bit of a risky move, but I’m confident it will be a good one and I really respect the team of people I’ll be working with. It’s early days still, but I also really like them as people and that counts for a lot too. They make me smile, and laugh, and think. Even if we scream and fight (which we will!), as long as there’s a fundamental respect there, and caring about the outcome and doing things the right way, we’ll be fine.
I alluded a while back to the decisions that I’ve made in my life that I’ve been the happiest with were the ones that I made in a second that just ‘felt’ right. I decided I was going to do this in a split second at some point over coffee at the Bromwell back in June. It was just the sort of challenge and stretch that I thought would be interesting enough to make it worthwhile. I know it’s not going to be easy, and I also know it’s quite literally going to change my life. But a change for the better.
This is going to be fun. Scary as hell, but fun.