Building Strong Teams through Compassion

Devon-McDonald by

Last week, my 18-year old cousin, Sarah, fought the last leg of her two year battle with cancer at home surrounded by her loved ones. I’ve never felt such sadness in all of my life.

As the saying goes, when times are tough, people show their true colors. What I’ve learned is that when times are tough, coworkers and managers also show their true colors.

My colleagues and the management teams at OpenView Venture Partners have been so incredibly supportive during this very difficult period of my life. I’ve spent more time out of the office than in the office in recent weeks, and Scott Maxwell and Brian Zimmerman have supported me as managers and mentors by saying, “Family comes first. Do what you need to do. We are behind you 100%.”

From the start, the partners at OpenView, a venture capital investment firm, have articulated the mission, vision and values that the firm holds itself accountable to… These values are not just words on a piece of paper that we discuss at the end of every quarter. They are the foundation of what OpenView is all about: building greatness, building great companies, delivering top investment results, building great teams, and being great community citizens. At my cousin’s memorial service in NH, my coworkers, Amanda Maksymiw, Diana Winnings, and Katie Cohen-Hausman were all in attendance to show support for my family.

Coming back to work this morning, I feel excited to work hard and pick up where I left off. I want to work hard for my team that has had to work extra hard in my absence.

I’ve learned many important lessons recently, one of which is that the key to building something great is to show compassion.

Thank you, team.