This month we only have one entry. It’s long, but it is a fitting tribute to The Ledlie Letter’s best author, Joe Ledlie. His influence will guide The Ledlie Group for many years to come.
Saying goodbye to our Founder.
People always ask “How do you buy for the man who has everything?” In this instance the more appropriate question is, “How do you write about a man who wrote about everything?”
Joe Ledlie could take something as mundane as marketing copy about dog food and turn it into Evelyn Waugh. And he was an editorial surgeon. More often than not, some of our favorite lines somehow didn’t make Joe’s final cut, but it always sounded better in the end. His way with words will remain unmatched.
But at times like these, there are no words, no comforts, no real solace to be had when we lose someone close to us.
What we do have are all the clichés in the world. And there’s a reason they’re clichés.
In each of the lives Joe touched he left an impression, a mark that can never truly be forgotten. He instilled in each of his employees – past and present – the power of the written word and the necessary tools (particularly the pen and paper) that he knew they needed to build the foundation of their career.
But Joe didn’t just want his employees to be successful in business, he wanted us to be successful in life. He stressed the importance of balancing work and family (yet scoffed at the term “work/life balance” for being, as he said, “overused”). He encouraged each of us to stay true to our own values and sense of morality, even when our thoughts didn’t match his. He simply wanted us to have principles. And he always wanted to know everyone’s opinion, from the lowliest associate up to the vice president. He pushed us all to offer our own thoughts, even in dire crisis situations.
He left these ideals with a lot of people. That’s because Joe knew a lot of people. By a lot of people, we mean you could name your second cousin’s grandfather and he’d spout off, “Oh, him? Yeah, he had a little problem back in ’82. We fixed it.”
Aiding that ever-expanding network was that he was always available. People used to say he was “the executive whose door was always open.” And it really was. We’d get calls all the time from some kid, fresh out of state college, no real job prospects, but somehow his dad’s friend was “familiar” with Joe.
“Should we send it to your voicemail?” we’d ask.
“No, put him through. I have a few minutes,” he’d say.
And that’s the kind of man he was. The best boss you could ask for, a loving husband, a caring father, and a man who had just recently become the proudest grandfather we’d ever seen.
Joe will be missed. But (cliché warning) he certainly will not be forgotten. Just writing this now we can feel him breathing down our necks saying things like, “I have a sack full of commas. Here, why don’t you take a few? And I think I see some on the page I could put in my bag for later.”
And in that search for perfection that applies to everything we do, we will think of Joe. He will be missed, but we will carry on and continue his legacy here at The Ledlie Group.
Thank you all very much for your support during this time. It has meant the world, both to all of us here at The Ledlie Group, and more importantly to his family.
As always, we are grateful. As Joe would say, onward and upward!