Jason Lauritsen - Crushing talent dogma to free human potential

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Words of Gratitude (#10) for Jen Benz

Note: I’m writing a note of gratitude on the blog each day in November leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday. My hope is that these posts will inspire you to do the same. Write an email, Facebook post, or a text to tell people they have made an impact on you. Gratitude is contagious. 


Earlier this fall, I wrote a post about the power of asking for help. For a lot of people, asking for help is hard but accepting help is even harder.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve asked for a lot of help to figure out our business model, marketing strategies, and a long list of other things.

Back in August, while in San Diego to speak at the WELCOA conference, I had a chance to catch up with my friend, Jen Benz. Jen is the CEO and Founder of Benz Communications, a communications and marketing agency focused on employee benefits.

Jen and I first connected probably eight years ago through social media back in the golden era of Twitter. When we eventually met in person at the annual SHRM Conference, it was pretty clear that we had a lot of overlap in our thinking and passions professionally.

Since then, I’ve had the privilege to both collaborate on work with Jen and spend time with her socially. She is a wonderful human being who I always look forward to seeing.

She is the kind of CEO and leader we need more of in this world. She is focused and driven to both grow her business and her people. She cares deeply about her employees and is constantly thinking about how to create a work experience that amplifies each of them.

She’s also a brilliant strategist.

So, when we were catching up back in August, she asked me a bunch of questions about our business. As I shared with her some of the challenges we were facing, she said she thought she could help. She offered to carve out some time to help me think through strategy.

I jumped at the opportunity. And, I am so thankful I did.

In the space of just a couple hours, as I laid out how we were approaching our business, Jen prompted me to see it in a new way. She helped me climb over a few mental barriers and open doors to new opportunities. That conversation changed our business in important and beneficial ways.

I’m so glad I said yes to the offer of help.

Jen, thank you for everything you are and everything you do. You are a role model and an inspiration to me. Your investment of time and wisdom in me this year has had a profound impact. I’m so grateful to have you as a friend and mentor. You are amazing. And you are appreciated.  

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Jason Lauritsen