AWESOME letter from Joe Biden to his staff. Every boss should say this.


This 2014 letter from US vice president to his staff is AWESOME. Here’s the full text:

“To my wonderful staff,

I would like to take a moment and make something clear to everyone. I do not expect, nor do I want any of you to miss or sacrifice important family obligations for work. Family obligations include, but are not limited to family birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, any religious ceremonies such as first communions and bar mitzvahs, graduations and times of need such as an illness or a loss in the family. This is very important to me. In fact I will go so far as to say that if I find out you are working with me while missing important family responsibilities, it will disappoint me greatly. This has be an unwritten rule sine my days in the Senate.

Thank you for all the hard work.



There are three reasons why I love this:

  1. He shows staff that it’s OK to prioritize important family events over work.
  2. He starts with “To my wonderful staff.” This man clearly likes, respects and appreciates the people who work for him,
  3. Appreciating staff and giving them time for family makes them happier – and happy staff are more productive. It also combats the ubiquitous cult of overwork.

Considering the losses Biden has  suffered in his family, this letter becomes even more poignant.

UPDATE: This post went viral and generated a lot of comments. Most were positive, but there were also some criticisms, that I felt missed the mark. I’ve countered them here:

The 3 most common objections to Biden’s AWESOME memo – and my rebuttals.

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