Salutations CFit Familia,
Please excuse the absence of my CEO Note last month, I was busy getting married! After our Tuscan wedding my new bride and I (can’t believe I’m a husband!) spent several weeks traveling throughout Europe experiencing the food, art and cultures of so many places we had always dreamed of visiting. As I had mentioned in a previous “CEO Note”, last year was the first time in nearly seven years I was able to leave Catered Fit for more than two days in a row and take a vacation. This year’s journey however felt very different.
In 2017 we launched several new technologies ranging from automated kitchen reports and route generation to allowing ingredient exclusions and meal selections through our member portal. These new technologies gave me the confidence to finally escape for a few weeks and recharge my batteries in 2017. This year however was different. Catered Fit’s reliance on technology remains the same however my reliance on our TEAM is what made this trip so powerful. In between trekking ancient cities, sailing far off islands and cliff diving the Algar Seco, I often found myself wondering how I got so lucky to be surrounded and supported by such an incredible team. I was so appreciative to be able to do these things with full confidence the company wouldn’t skip a beat. After eight years of feeling like the weight of the world was solely on my shoulders I had finally built a team that would put the same pride and passion into Catered Fit whether I was in the same building, the same state, or even on the same continent.
I can recall so many times throughout the last eight years when incredibly stressful and potentially catastrophic events were thrust upon the company leaving me feeling alone with my back against the wall and nowhere to run (that’s what it means to be a young company, right?) I can finally look back at those days and smile. I can look back at those days and appreciate all of the struggle and pain. You know what they say, no pain no gain! But those days are long gone now. Our team from top to bottom has never been stronger, more resilient or better equipped for battle than we are today.
For the longest time, I felt that it was my responsibility to make every decision. As the CEO the buck stopped with me, and I was solely the one who could handle the tough-calls or unexpected hurdles… Boy, did that take a toll. I wished I had realized a few years ago how important it was to trust and empower others and to let people make their own decisions, even if I am not always sure it is the best decision. I would probably have a few more hairs on my head and a couple less grays in my beard. It might sound cliche, but teamwork makes great companies.The people answering our phones, cooking your food and delivering your meals are what make this company great, NOT the CEO.
Each day I wake up filled with gratitude and inspired by my team. As we head into the season of “giving thanks” I have to give thanks to the 200+ employees of the Catered Fit family with special shout out to those team members who put on one or two (or even three or four) of my hats in my absence so that I could go and live my best life.
The next time a tractor trailer tears down our power lines, an adjacent tenant tries to burn down the building, or our merchant processor shuts down our entire system due to a glitch in their system, (yes, those are true stories) I will have no fear!
Teamwork truly makes the dream work.