I had the pleasure of attending the Deloitte Fast50 event, and the keynote speakers were Jim Balsillie (Founder of RIM/Blackberry) and John Ruffolo (CEO of Omers Ventures). After their talk, I approached Mr. Balsillie with the hopes of recruiting him for one of our “From CPA to …” events.
The interaction was extremely brief. I gave him a short introduction to Luminari, and asked if he would like to be a speaker at one of our events. He told me he only speaks at two events each year and we were currently at one of them. Then followed by saying he wanted to be candid and that he wouldn’t be able to take part. He asked me how the company was doing, I gave him a quick response, then let him go on with his day.
Let’s not mince words here. I got rejected. Yet I left thinking he was great… Why? Because he was straightforward and honest.
I can’t even remember all the times I’ve been given a ‘maybe’, when its really just code for a ‘slow no.’ No one likes being left in limbo. Much better to get that closure quickly and move on.
We all like to be ‘nice’, and being rejected isn’t usually considered nice. But unless he was really going to show up to one of our events, it was the nicest thing he could have done.
So, in the unlikely scenario that you read this Jim: Thank you for a great rejection!