Principal consultant David Karofsky received this note after helping two brothers strengthen their relationship. The goal of the engagement was to improve communication and build alignment between them with respect to management and ownership of the business. (Their names have been changed to protect their privacy.)

Hi David,

When we started a year ago, I was fairly certain that things were either going to end up in divorce or we would need to rely on you as a referee in perpetuity. Never could I have imagined that barely over a year later, on your suggestion, we pause our work because we have come so far. Of course, this progress could not have been possible without both Mike and I looking inward to change ourselves and our relationship with one another, but it really could never have happened without you.

You asked the right questions, pushed the right buttons, knew when to give tough love and knew when we needed some reassurance. David, thank you! You have not just given me a relationship with my brother in a way like I never had before, but I truly believe that you saved our business from almost certain demise (yeah, I know what you’re thinking when I say that!!).

Not only did Mike and I greatly benefit from our engagement, but each one of our employees, their families, our customers and vendors are all benefitting as well. When Mike and I are aligned, everyone we directly and indirectly touch benefits. In other words, while your work was directly with just the two of us, your impact is felt far and wide and you should feel really good and proud about that.

I am sure things will come up over time where we are going to want your input, but again, I never in a million years thought we would get to the point where we are today and I will be forever grateful for that. As I mentioned when we spoke yesterday, the bad part about your business is that when you’re successful, you lose clients! With that in mind, if you ever need a reference or there is anything that I can do to help you, please do not hesitate to reach out.

David, thank you again. You will forever be a part of mine and Mike’s story and the success of our family business.

Follow up 10 months later…

Hi David,

I hope all is well with you! Since it has been a while, I just wanted to touch base and let you know where things are between me and Mike.

Well, they’re still great! The business is still doing well and Mike and I are working together better than either of us could ever imagined. In fact, I think we are 100 times better together than we ever could be apart. We’re communicating every day, working together on things and solving problems as a team. Just the other day, he and I were talking and I thanked him for everything and how far we have come. I then said to him “David Karofsky really saved this company, didn’t he?” Mike absolutely agreed!

We’ve started to seriously look at acquisition targets and we are both very optimistic about our future growth as a company, but just as importantly, as brothers.

David, thank you again for everything! We will forever be grateful for all that you did to help us.