A few weeks ago, the company I work for released a public statement to annouce its intent on filing Chapter 11. We were one of the last ones standing in the industry. In many cases, top executives are the first to jump ship at the earliest signs of an oncoming disaster. They'd liquidate as much of their equity positions as they can and make an unannounced retirement before employees could get glimpse of the stories.
All three of our top executives stuck through to the end, sleeves rolled-up, down in the trenches with us. They were like those string quartet on Titanic humping the viola until the ship snapped in half. They displayed what I think is one of the finest examples of professionalism and leadership in modern business history.
The CFO's final speech was the best shortest speech I've ever heard: "We've tried everything we could to avoid this. Thank you everyone for your valiant efforts. It's been an honor." His eyes watered up and ears turned visibly red. He got a standing ovation. I was pretty close to climbing up on my chair and yelling, "O! Captain! My Captain!"
I wish the best for him and I wish I could be half the leader he is when I grow up.