Jason Lauritsen - Crushing talent dogma to free human potential

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Words of Gratitude (#15) for Trish McFarlane

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. 


Nine years ago, I boarded a flight for Chicago to attend an event called HRevolution where I knew no one except for a few through Twitter. It was billed as an “unconference” for HR people who were active in social media (a pretty small group at the time).

Attending this event changed the trajectory of my career, and by extension, my life. When I think back about all of the people I met for the first time at that event and who are now friends and colleagues, it’s mind-boggling.

One of the people I met in Chicago was the individual most responsible for it existing in the first place, Trish McFarlane.

It’s hard to adequately describe how important HRevolution was for me (and I suspect many others) in terms of accelerating the creation of a network of amazing, smart people from around the world who were driven by a similar purpose. Without Trish, that opportunity would not have existed. I hope someday we can find a way to honor and recognize her for this legacy.

As if creating this opportunity wasn’t enough, in the years since, Trish has shown up to support me with encouragement, advice, and generosity more times than I can count.  During the past two years, in particular, her advice and counsel has helped me shape and grow my business in important ways.

But wait, there’s more…

This summer, when we were planning our Griswold-style family road trip, our path was going to take us to St. Louis where Trish lives with her family. When she found out we were coming that way, she graciously opened her home to us. We had a wonderful time staying with her for a couple of days.

Very few people have had a bigger impact on my career than Trish.

Trish, you have made such an impact on my life. I am so grateful for your friendship. It’s a true privilege to know you. Thank you for inviting us into your home and making us feel so welcome. I will likely never be able to adequately thank you for everything you’ve done for me, but I will continue to try. You are amazing. Thank you, thank you, thank you.  

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Jason Lauritsen