discretion, friendship, inspiration, leadership, life lessons, management, mindfulness, motivation, training, work life

Sometimes I Get The Message

There was a comment waiting for me this morning that was posted on my “About Me” page.  It was from a manager with whom I used to work at the firm.  She moved on to greater professional opportunities years ago, and we keep in tacit touch on LinkedIn.  And though I remember her in detail, from her reluctant smile, that once shared lit up her entire face to her ardent wish to ‘do the right thing’ for her department – I never really expected to receive such a gift.

“Mimi, I saw this recently and thought of you.  So many times as a leader I reflect on your teachings and I am so very thankful to have them in my toolbox.  Thanks for the Lollipop and for the ones I’ve received because of you.”

And she forwarded along this Ted video.  And I cried (no surprise there).


And the bottom line to all of this?  Be transparent, bring joy, offer people the best you have and if you can’t give them your best, certainly don’t bring them your worst.  Sometimes the farther one travels up the professional food chain, the more likely it is to see people getting by with the most off-hand and dismissive of efforts – after all, there is so much one has to do (yes, this is sarcastic).  I am humbled and honored that Vivia took the time to send me this.  I am appreciative of the reminder that this is really what it’s all about – period.  And my lollipop of choice?  Tootsie pops, hands down.

52 thoughts on “Sometimes I Get The Message”

    1. It is a wonderful gift..I have never considered myself particularly memorable. I always assumed that once out of sight, I would be out of mind. To receive this counter to my perspective was really heartwarming.

  1. This is wonderful. Many years ago I had a similar experience, when someone made a signficant difference in my life by just a few words. I wrote about it in 2006, and Marlo Thomas picked it up for her collection, “The Right Words at the Right Time, Volume II.” And two years ago, the teacher who made such a difference in my life read this story, and contacted me. And she didn’t remember. A small thing to her; a life-changing experience for me. I posted the story on my blog after the Newtown shooting, in honor of teachers everywhere: http://notquiteold.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/teachers/

  2. That comment was wonderful! What a lovely tribute to your work and the impact you have on people! (And so very well deserved, too) Definitely will be checking out that video on my lunch break! 🙂

  3. Dear Mimi,

    My favorite candy is the lollipop. Thank you for sharing this with all of us today. You’ve no idea what it means to me. I’ve been inspired by you and your posts on more than one occasion. Thanks again for all of the kind words you share.

    Love, Renee

    1. What a huge compliment Renee – thank you so much!! I too have found much inspiration and reason to smile from your posts. And I am remiss for neglecting to tell you..

  4. What a beautiful gift to receive on many levels. Thanks for sharing because within your words I took what could very well have been a message for me. So for paying it forward today, and every day, I adore you my friend. You never know where your impact ends – if it ever does – and what a beautiful reminder on such a beautiful day that you did indeed make a difference. As if there was any doubt! (yes, I hear the same inner voice that you do that makes us question ourselves much of the time). But, this morning for as long as the good feeling can last and I hope it stays with you for a very long time, you were remembered for making a difference and you were thought of by a colleague long after you said your goodbyes. How wonderful! Enjoy this beautiful day. ❤

  5. Oh honey, this is just such a beautiful story, and that TED talk is *awesome*. I, too, cried all the way through. I’m so glad that someone from your past took the time to reach out and tell you what an incredibly special person you are and what a profound impact you have on the lives of so many. You leave impressions everywhere you go, sweet friend, of the *very* best kind….xoxoxox, l

    1. I will ‘hold’ onto this feeling for a while Lori..it had a wonderful affect on my day (despite the rain)..Given that we all make impressions upon those we meet, it is remarkable to think how much we may not realize in the comings and goings of those moments in our lives. I am so fortunate to be remembered in this way..xoxo,m

  6. beautiful, mimi! But of course you have handed out at least a jillion lollipops in your lifetime! And with every post you write, you hand out more. Reading this made me especially happy as I feel I was able to hand my friend, Ann, her lollipop a few posts back. Gotta thank those people and it strikes me as funny as they’re not always the Big moments–just little things that somehow made a difference. Awesome post per usual! And this on little sleep 😉

    1. The sleep deprivation is indeed beginning to threaten my ability to put two sentences together..And yes, I loved how you honored your friend Ann with your recent post! It is the little moments isn’t it? The grand gestures – though grand – are remembered perhaps more for their size than for the way they touched us..

  7. Mimi – I concur; every one of your posts is a lollipop. I can certainly say that your leadership style is lacking at the firm since your departure. There may be a few remnants of your impact but it is no longer coming from the top tier. Being so humongous may also be a contributing factor. Nonetheless, it’s all okay and I feel so fortunate for the experience of working under your leadership for so many years? I hope you know that you also had a positive influence on those who you did not have direct contact with. The video was a wonderful reminder that we all could apply to our own lives and that leadership comes in all forms. Thanks! xo Fran

    1. I think we worked at the firm during a ‘golden era’ Fran…and we all cared deeply about an creating an environment that we could be proud of. It’s true – it has gotten so big (though when I left we had 33 offices which was pretty big) and perhaps a bit more siloed and a little less collaborative. But how lucky we were to be able to create something that wonderful – in a law firm no less! I always thought we were in it together my friend, so I benefited as much as anyone else. xoxo, m

      1. Yes; I believe that your footprint and remnants of that era still exist and are the fundamental backbone of the firm. A glimmer that will last like a bright star. I feel fortunate. xo

  8. This is beautiful Mimi! And never underestimate the number of lollipop moments you created–and how many of us did our best to pay it forward. I was so impressed when I met you-I thought, wow, this must be a really great firm if she’s here! Ups and downs, I loved my time there.

    1. You know me Jill – as many others may not – I was just being me. And I always appreciated the fact that I was in a place that allowed me to do that without pretense (most of the time 😉 )…There’s no doubt that you had your ups and downs, but you were/are a superstar and made a massive difference in a hugely positive way. Let’s meet for a lollipop moment soon..

  9. I love this post and the Ted Talk, Mimi. You gave a lollipop moment to me early in my writing days by describing me to others in a way that deeply touched me, and inspired me to keep going as a writer. I keep what you wrote on my desk to soak up and lift my spirits on days when it is great to have help keeping the fire alive. Now, much later and just this week, you provided feedback that got me unstuck on a story that is likely to become my fourth or fifth published book.

    Thank you for the lollipops, Mimi. They are wonderful, but not as wonderful as you.


    1. I meant every word Russ (even the one from earlier this week) – and only to support your efforts to spread your talents to children as well as all of us who love your blog. Thank you for considering anything I do lollipop-worthy. I’d say I’ve received one from you just now – and it is delicious!! Hugs, m

    1. If someone were to ask me what I would have hoped my professional legacy would be, it would have been summarized in her words and that video.

  10. I’ve never heard of tootsie pops before, but I want some!

    Haven’t seen the video yet, just about to, but from the comments sounds it will be good.

  11. This “is” a leadership post. It has meaning, real, actionable. I loved the video. Your post has inspired me to follow-up on a several fronts. If I get some traction, will be sure to let you know. Your friend knows what many of us know already – you lead with actions and with empathy. From the front.

    1. Awwww…thank you. And sometimes from the rear (Lao Tsu – “I must follow my people. I am their leader”, and the sides. It hits me to the core to think that there are those who are still remembering me in this way. Professionally, that is the only legacy I ever cared about.

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