Dear Peerage Partners:
On behalf of the Canadian arm of the Peerage family, I’d like to wish a very happy Thanksgiving to all our partners, colleagues and friends in the United States. I know today is always very special one and in 2020, the acknowledgement of our gratitude and our many blessings is more important than ever.
Without question, 2020 has been one tough year. Now, as we mark American Thanksgiving and the year begins to draw to a close, it is an opportune time to reflect on the lessons learned from the uncertainty and disruption we’ve faced individually and as business partners.
The toll taken by COVID-19 has been horrific. So many and so much has been ravaged or lost because of the virus. But while there is still some distance to go before the virus can be declared a thing of the past, and while many things may have permanently changed because of it, we must also remember that there are always so many things for which to be grateful.
In 2020, I am more mindful of and grateful for my family, my friends, my community, and my wonderful Peerage colleagues. We have come through a period of tremendous and personal stress, with our physical and mental health pushed to its limits in so many cases. It has been challenging, but I believe it has also made us stronger as partners and provided new clarity to our business operations and our shared values.
Adversity provides a true stress test of the principles we proclaim when things are going well, when we are all focused on our goals for the future. But what happens when that forward momentum suddenly slows or stops and we no longer have the information or experience to forge ahead?
Obviously, the answer is different for every individual, family and organization. For Peerage, 2020 highlighted that all our businesses are on the right track, but there is more we can do – both operationally and culturally – to ensure continued success in the face of fundamental changes. As COVID eventually recedes, and the new economic landscape emerges, the clearer our collective sense of who we are and what we stand for, the stronger we will be.
While we have been forced to ensure that every aspect of our businesses operate at peak efficiency, we can only sustain it if we build on the high level of collaboration and communication we reached through the pandemic. Although it is preferable to interact in person, we’ve forged some important new virtual connections through the pandemic. Partners are speaking more frequently and more openly with one another, to the benefit of all.
At Peerage we have always prioritized the importance of sharing values with our partners, on collaborating with people who are entrepreneurial and actively committed to the communities where they live and work. At the darkest times in March and April of this year, those values became so much more than fine words and good intentions. The trust they engendered and the priorities they reinforced, bound us all together and allowed us to meaningfully support one another in a swift adjustment to unforeseen circumstances.
It is only natural that that everyone is in a big hurry to slam the door in 2020 and move on to “normalcy” as quickly as possible. That is perfectly understand, but it also means we won’t learn from the challenges we have faced, from where we have been and what it portends for our future.
In addition to thanks and gratitude, I would like Peerage and its partners to be mindful of three other things in 2021: priorities; compassion; and alignment.
Over the past year, we have come together in new ways, learning how to work together closely and virtually to provide seamless support for all our clients. We have quarantined for weeks, often in close quarters, with families we used to see just a few hours a day. Let’s not lose sight of all we have gained through these deeper connections with one another. How do we really want to live and work? What is most important to accomplish? What do we want to be known for as people and as an organization?
The highly infectious nature of COVID-19 has compelled us all to take the health of others in our community very much to heart. The health of one matter to all. To a much greater degree, we have had to respect those more vulnerable than ourselves and, by wearing masks, distancing, practicing new levels of hygiene, subordinate some of our individual will to the collective good. We have had to be generous to those who have been affected by adversity in ways we could never have previously anticipated. Hopefully, we’ve also refined our sense of how fortunate we truly are and how much we have to give to others.
Finally, if there is one single lesson, we must carry into 2021, it is that we must focus on what brings us together, not what divides us. It’s human nature to use negativity, the threat of the unknown to bind us into small, like-minded groups with narrow agendas. Frankly, it’s a luxury we can no longer afford. Commonality has to become, well, more common.
With all of that as context, I want to thank everyone at Peerage and all our partners for a remarkable year as a team and as a business. We hit a few rough patches along the way, but all our operations have ultimately expanded and grown stronger. We have welcomed some highly talented people and quickly seen the positive impact of their fresh perspective and energy.
On a personal note, I am ending 2020 grateful, humble and full of hope for the future. I am determined to find the positive threads from a turbulent year and pull them forward. And there is no better team I could have by my side to do so.
Happy Thanksgiving to all our American Partners and friends. Please continue to be well and be safe through the holiday season.