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Monthly Archives: February 2009

Stand Together or Fall Apart

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Now is the time to lighten up, not lock down. I say this as I watch a case of mass control-freak-itis surge through workplaces across my network of friends and colleagues. Companies (and companies really are just people) are freaked out, unsure of almost everything they had counted on, from revenue streams to lines of credit.

But so many companies are missing a valuable point. Now is the time they need employees on their side, defending them at the cocktail parties, proud of how they’re handling the challenges. Shoulder-to-shoulder and ready for whatever comes. Now is NOT the time to start a new sign-out policy for office supplies or to kill the company happy hour. Make everyone buy their own beer if you must, but find a way to get everyone pulling in the same direction.

I have one friend at a company that is swimming against the tide. They’re instituting their own brand of company-sponsored stand-up comedy, and they managed (rather by chance) to employ an entire rock band, and they plays at company town hall meetings. Yes, the CEO could squawk about productivity, or a half-dozen other really business-school-worthy performance indicators. But the things that are going to pull us through are harder to measure than that in these topsy-turvy times. Character and intention matter more than ever. I wish companies would remember that keeping people in their jobs may be enough in the short-term, but keeping them pulling together is the only way to win the long race.

Here’s to those companies still celebrating victories, however small they are.


Grace in Small Things: Part 2 of 365

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Yes, at the rate I’m going this exercise may take me 365 days, but spread over a decade. That said:

  • Carne asada tacos and sangria to celebrate…
  • …permanent four-day weekends (they said yes!)
  • The Atlantic Monthly, and the friend that introduced me to it’s fine pages
  • Casual Fridays in already-casual California
  • Farmer’s market coffee every Saturday

Happy weekending!

“Be myself. Be stubborn and honest and very me.”

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A friend had a revelation and sent me over some mantras for being authentic. I thought they were well worth republishing, since they are so clearly at the heart of what I believe:

  • Be myself.  Be stubborn and honest and very me.  There is a temptation to bend into the shape you think you should be (so that the person you’re with will continue to like you), but that removes the parts of you that were uniquely likable.
  • Being yourself means that you aren’t advertising a false personality, and the other can make an informed decision about being with you
  • Being yourself maintains the wonderful and quirky things that make you attractive in the first place
  • You have every right to be different.  I keep reminding myself that it is ok to dislike John Irving because it is a matter of taste.  I don’t expect him to like the same things that do, and he shouldn’t think less of me for not loving his favorite author.   As far as I’m concerned, I’ve tried two books and that should earn some serious points.

Well said, my friend…

Why hello there…

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so nice to see you! It has been a while, hasn’t it?

I’ve been a bit busy, what with starting my business and keeping my day job spinning along as well. The day job that drives me nuts. The one that challenges my Happiness Manifesto in oh, about 11 ways. Since this is a public forum I will keep those specifics to myself, but we’ll just say that it’s not a good fit.

So, it finally got to be too much last week, and today (after much sleeping-on-it and etc.) I suggested to my boss that we all might be a bit happier with a few changes. Ones that didn’t involve me working there, at least not all day, every day (hey, I’ll take clients where I can find them…).

We’ll see what they say to that one… either way, I feel lighter already.

I came home after the meeting, a bit early for the day, to be entertained by my favorite neighbors and their lovely au pair Jackie. We went for a walk in our lovely neighborhood, ate sourgrass (picked from a pee-free spot), tossed rocks into the canyon, and had heart-shaped ravioli and broccolini. How lucky am I?

Better Way to Say It Says Hello at OMS

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This week San Diego is hosting the Online Marketing Summit, and I’ve had an incredible time introducing myself and BWSI to some real titans in my field.

In particular, Kristina Halvorson of had a great session on content development strategy that had my pen tearing up the page. Innovative web content needs an entirely new model, and her insights are great.

On a related note I finally started Twittering (follow me: @jennylemmons) and I’m hooked. I admit, at first I didn’t really get it. I mean, is it IM? Text messaging? Do I really need another network?

The answer is yes, especially at any group gathering. The benefit of this event to me has at least doubled due to the Tweets. If you haven’t tried it, at least log on and reserve your name!