I’m sure you’re not a terrible person, and I’m sure God loves you, but I just need to let you know we can’t hang out anymore.
As much as I’d like to keep up the relationship, I just can’t…for my sake, for the organization’s sake and for your sake.
I’m sure there’s some story behind the constant stream of negativity. Maybe your teen years were tough, or you were the last guy to get picked for dodgeball. Or maybe all those Nerds you ate in Grade 5 really messed with your mind.
I don’t know what happened, but there are a lot of positive people around who have sad stories. Some much sadder than yours. And they actually have something to contribute to a better future.
I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.
I heard you out. I listened.
We went for lunch that day and I took your feedback back to the team. We even made changes.
But then the changes weren’t quite right, and you found 5 new things to groan about. I listened some more, and tried not to get too discouraged. I took what I could. We even took some of it to heart. At least at first.
But nothing seems to satisfy you. When we would fix one problem, you’d spot another. Whatever progress we make in any direction never seems to be ‘good enough’.
So honestly, the team and I really tried to meet you where you’re at, but…well…here it is.
I can’t let you trip up the mission anymore.
Your negativity is killing us. If we let it, it would kill our future.
And I just can’t…in fact I won’t… let one or two voices scuttle the future of hundreds of people who are okay with the changes.
Let me go further. I can’t let your negativity sabotage the mission of our organization. The mission is too urgent…too sacred…too important for that.
So, starting today, I won’t give you the audience you so seem to desire.
I’ll thank you for your comment, and move on.
I’ll call you on your constantly negative stream—in love— and the conversation will end.
I won’t apologize any more for moving ahead with the agenda so many others have embraced.
You want reasons? Okay…
People with your attitude don’t have a vision for what could be, only a vision for what shouldn’t be. How can you build the future on that?
You don’t just seem to be negative about the odd thing, you’re negative about almost everything here. New issues ‘come up’ almost every month. Seriously? It’s that bad?
In the end, I don’t think you’re just mad at us, it seems like you’re mad at the world. I’m not sure it was ever possible for us—or anyone—to please you.
Your criticism outweighs your contribution. We don’t need people who tell others how they did it wrong nearly as much as we need people who will roll up their sleeves and help us to do it right.
If things are really that bad, one question: Why are you still here? Surely you’re too smart to stay in an organization as bad as you say ours is.
So here’s what I’m deciding right now:
The mission is too critical to let one person continually try to derail it.
There are so many people who want to make it happen. We can build the future on them. Join em if you want to.
If you find a place or start an organization that fits you better, go for it! (We’ll chip in for the cab fare.)
When you leave the room (I know this is hard to hear), many will breathe a sigh of relief. And they’ll wonder why it took so long. Can you see the impact your attitude has had on others? Really? For their sake? For your sake?
So, my friend, the time has come to say goodbye.
You are always welcome here. But the attitude has got to go.
And if it ever does…I think you’ll wonder why you didn’t dump it sooner.
And in the end—I think you know this—I didn’t write this for you, really. I wrote it for me.
I need some courage. I need some resolve.
And I think I’ve got it now.
Because it’s time – finally time – to embrace the future that almost everyone else is ready to seize.