Thank you, thank you.

I got quite an avalanche of comments, twitters and emails, congratulating me on my grant. If you missed it, I’ve been granted an extra five days vacation and $1000 to go on a writing retreat. Yes! I get to go and write for a whole week! Supported by my company!

It couldn’t have come at a better time.

We all want recognition and I am no different. I crave it. I want to feel like I matter as an individual, that it matters that I do the work, not just that the work is getting done. I was starting to feel like I, the individual, didn’t matter in the work that I do. I was debating… do I continue this or do I go somewhere that I, Leah Jones, will matter? Do I, the individual, matter outside of the world of doing Jewish? Or will I always be chasing this feeling?

This was recognition from the company that I, the individual, matter. It was a vote of confidence that my outside interests are important. It means a lot to me that my company will support me to go off and write. There was a time when the fear was “as soon as she publishes a book, she’ll leave.” Now the same company is supporting me and giving me the time to write a book… or at least start the book.

I am beyond thrilled.

And of course it raises issues.

How do I make sure that the people I work with know that I value them as individuals? That it matters to me not just that the job is getting done, but that you are doing it? This isn’t so easy and doesn’t come naturally to me.

My friend Debbi, who I worked with in Colorado, was a natural at this. She complimented with wild abandon. She told you how much you mattered and how much you bring to the world. I always felt beautiful when I was with her, despite weighing the most I ever did, being in the toughest financial place I ever was and living hundreds of miles from my family. I never doubted myself when she was around, she left no room for doubt that you, the individual matter.

So how will I achieve that? With the women I supervise and the men who supervise me? When the account staff I work with from time to time and the clients I come in contact with? PR is secondary to life. The Brand is secondary. You, the individual, are primary.

You matter. You were put into my life for a reason. You were put into your work for a reason. Your outside life matters as much as your life in the company. Your emotional life matters.

In my former lives, I would have slipped a note under a door, made a construction paper sign, or done something silly and cheesy. Does that still work? How do you show people you work with that they, as individuals, matter? Now taking suggestions…

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