My Worst

It was a very big project.

Like a 6-month, hundreds of hours, thousands (and thousands) of dollars – project.

It was an animation depicting the personal and professional stories of a collection of recent and distinguished alumni.

I picked the alums.  Wrote the script.  Produced the entire piece…and DAYS before it was set to go live (to 100s of thousands of individuals, corporations, and businesses), I suddenly realized, I never actually got permission from ANY of the featured alumni.

Now, by this time in my career, I’d produced a phenomenal number of scripts, shows, spots, videos, commercials and live experiences.  I’d written/managed/negotiated…I can’t even count how many contracts, releases and formal approvals.

And, still, here I was (knowing FAR better) about to go live with a serious production without having taken ANY of those critical and initial steps.

I burst into tears at my desk – then red-eyed and ready walked into my boss’s office and closed the door behind me.

“You might have to fire me,” I managed.

“Okay,” My boss said, calmly.  “Tell me more.”

“I don’t know how or why, but, I never got approvals from any of the alumni – for the video.  We can’t release it without their approvals and it’s already done and…I may have just wasted everyone’s time and money.  I don’t know – I really don’t know how I missed this.”

The tears came back stronger and harder.

“Look at me, Amanda.  One day you’re going to lead a team.  You’re going to have smart, compassionate, brilliant people make mistakes, and you’re going to remember to say this when they do: I never need you at your worst.  Now is a time for your best.  Right now, I need you at your best.  Now, go get your computer and let’s fix this together.”

And we did.

I still don’t know how I missed those critical steps on the first go-round, but I know I’ll never let go of that wise, loving guidance from the woman who taught me how to lead.

Happy Birthday, Lisa.

Thank you for making me part of your team – for continuing to teach me how to be my best.  I love you.

PS – This song just reminds me of strong, beautiful, authentically powerful women – Lisa, you make the top of that list




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