A memo that President-elect Joe Biden wrote years ago to his staff in the White House is going viral for its compassionate message.
"To my wonderful staff," the letter begins. "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."
By coincidence: exactly 6 years ago today, as Vice President of the USA, Joe Biden sent this note to his staff. I… https://t.co/UWXK8K3597— dan barker (@danbarker) 1604773586.0
Biden then offers several examples of events that he expects his staffers to observe.
"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 that you are working with me while missing important family responsibilities, it will disappoint me greatly. This has been an unwritten rule since my days in the Senate. Thank you all for the hard work."
The letter was dated just a few months before Biden's son, Beau, would lose his battle with brain cancer. Biden's first wife, Neilia, and their daughter, Naomi, also died in a car accident in 1972.
Joe Biden has always understood the importance of balancing his work with being a present parent. One month after the loss of Neilia and Naomi, Biden began commuting daily to Washington, DC, so that he could raise his surviving sons, Beau and Hunter, in Delaware while serving in the Senate.
The memo is going viral for the compassion and grace Biden extended to his staff. It's an example of quiet leadership that speaks volumes. And it's something we hope all managers see – and implement for themselves.