Jason Lauritsen - Crushing talent dogma to free human potential

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Words of Gratitude (#13) for Stuart Chittenden

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. 


About a decade ago, I attended a leadership development workshop where they talked about the concept of having “journey partners” in your life.

I’d used the idea of a “personal board of directors” before, this was something different. The board of directors idea is a good one but is inherently selfish by design. The board is comprised of people who have agreed to help you develop on your career journey. It’s largely a one-way development exercise.

A journey partner is also different than a coach or a mentor because the relationship is reciprocal. The idea of a journey partner is to create a mutual agreement to support and encourage one another throughout the journey of your careers.

As a journey partner, there are times when you offer advice or support to your partner, other times you ask for and receive it. The relationship ebbs and flows adjusting to each person’s individual needs over time.

I loved this idea and immediately started thinking about who might want to be a journey partner with me.  One of those people was Stuart Chittenden.

Stuart has been my journey partner now for close to a decade and a friend for longer than that. When we made this commitment, I was working as a corporate HR leader and Stuart was a partner in a branding agency. Both of our journeys have taken many interesting turns since then. Both of us are self-employed today.

Stuart has been an amazing journey partner. It makes sense because his business is teaching people how to awaken potential through conversation.

We meet to talk every few months. Sometimes just to share updates and others to wrestle with a problem one of us is facing.

Stuart has been relentlessly supportive and encouraging to me. There were many times where he had a much greater confidence in my potential and path than I did. Even in the challenging times, he helped me keep moving in the direction of my goals and dreams.

If you don’t have journey partners in your life, find one (or several). The power and value of these relationships is hard to overstate.

Stuart, thank you for joining with me on this journey. I’m profoundly grateful for your friendship and your partnership. Your words of encouragement and your belief in me have fueled and guided me. I only hope I am able to return something of similar value to you.  You have made a huge difference for me and I look forward to the journey ahead.  

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  1. Stuart Chittenden

    Wow. Thank you Jason. I could (should) say the same about you. Except, not just the same, as I feel that I have gained sooooooooo much more from you. Perhaps that is the point. In being willing fully to give to someone else – to support their journey – it opens up the door to receiving. And that is the alchemy that results in something amazing. We embarked on the unexpected, to discover it was delightfully necessary. Thank you.

Jason Lauritsen