I’m not going to lie, 2016 has been a rough year. The freight markets are down about 40%, the election left a lot of people with uncertainty and turmoil, the regulatory environment keeps lurching from one extreme to another for us, and on, and on. Legion is ending the year on a good note – we are leaner and better poised for profitability than we’ve ever been – but it was brutal getting here. This was one of those years where I’m happy to have a good hairdresser to cover all my new grey hair.
As I think about the kind of blog I usually write this time of year, one of gushing gratitude and thanksgiving, it’s a little harder to get in that spirit. I’m tired. I’m beat up. And I’m really freaking ready for 2016 to be over. I’m a firm believer that you should never wish time away, but there is a part of me that wishes the next five weeks would just glide past quickly, leaving little impression on me or on Legion and let us get to the good stuff – the new year, the potential, the fresh start. 2017 can’t get here soon enough.
But time never does what you want it to. When you are watching the clock, waiting for something to happen, it slows down, drags by, and makes you wallow in your impatience. And when you are in the midst of something magical that you want to last forever, time whips past at warp speed, leaving you breathless in its wake.
So if I’m stuck here for five weeks, mired in the administrative remains of a tough year, I might as well put some thought into what I’m happy for in the past 11 months. And one thought bubbles to the surface: I’m thankful to those who believed in Legion, no matter what.
This year, we had our fair share of naysayers – people who didn’t see the vision, or the way out of a tough year. People who found it easier to question every single decision we made, to assume the worst, and to see bumps in the road as insurmountable walls between our current position and where we know Legion will eventually end up. People who were happier starting rumors of our demise than doing the work to make Legion even stronger. People who had all the criticism and none of the constructive ideas it takes to take a company to the next level.
Those people are now gone. Over the course of the past 11 months, we’ve shed employees, partners, consultants, and friends (who were really frenemies). We’ve cut through the fat of fair-weather fans who only want to be a part of something when it is easy, or great, or popular. The circle of people who surround Legion is smaller than it was at this time last year, and I’m okay with that.
What we have now is remarkable. We have a tightly-knit, resilient, powerful and extraordinary group of employees, partners and friends who will fight and scrap and work harder than I’d ever believe for Legion. They keep the vision. They believe in the process. They show up, every single day, and work.
So, gazing back on the least-favorite year of my working life, that’s what I’m thankful for. The knowledge that I have am part of this circle of people, striving every day to be something more than what we were yesterday. I’m thankful for the incredible, loyal, hardworking folks who make up Legion.
Well, that and the fact that this year is almost over.
by Lacy Starling, President and Fearless Leader