Friday, May 21, 2010
In the early days of Jacobson Rost (the real early days) the employees celebrated birthdays in monumental ways. My former partner, Jon Rost, was surprised when the staff lead him out the front door and had him look up into the sky as an airplane wrote, “Happy Birthday Jon”. The following year, the staff had presented me with a 2’ x 2’ slab of concrete which was sandblasted in Times Roman to read, “To Tryg, The Man Who Cements Us All Together”.
The slab was leaning against my desk and weighed nearly 300 pounds. Impossible for any one man to lift alone, so it stayed there for days. It was not only a reminder of the team’s affection, but it was also a reminder that when it comes to any kind of heavy lifting, you can’t do it alone, you need help. And Jacobson Rost had a great team of people who worked hard. Everyday. They still do!
At the time, Jacobson Rost was going through a major building expansion, so we’d recruited the help of Kubala Washatko Architects in Cedarburg, WI. The project architect had stopped by to see me, and inquired about the large slab of concrete leaning against my desk. I’d explained that it was my birthday card from the team, and that I really wasn’t too sure what to do with it or where to go with it, but that it was a pretty hard thing to part with. He suggested we build it into the gateway to new creative department...and we did.
So today, on the right side of the gateway is a Times Roman cement tribute to my mom and dad which reads, “To Jake and Betty. He Promised. She Delivered”. And on the left side is the staff’s birthday tribute to me for the kind of leadership required to cement people together....so that together the team might become greater than the sum of its individual members.
And so it is... in coming years, I’m resolved to “cement” together this Jake’s Cafe creative community of filmmakers, artists, architects, entrepreneurs, etc. so that in the spirit of Jake and Betty, we might continue to do “Great Work in a Great Way”.