Eight Lessons Learned in 2008

2749089380_e016d70dcd “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” -George Santayanna

Instead of adding to or speculating on 2009 predictions (my crystal ball is a bit cloudy), I thought I would reflect on the year and what I have learned.

  1. I am NOT in control. There is no such thing as absolute power; at least, not that I possess. This goes for me in my personal life, as well as, in my role as advisor to clients. You are not in control and neither is your company/client.
  2. Go beyond the superficial. Please stop the insanity! You know, doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. Not going to happen. Don’t like being called a spin doctor? Do something about it. Stop mass communicating. Start building relationships. As Beth Harte says so eloquently, “Get with it!
  3. There is no such thing as privacy. Screw up? No matter…if it is good or bad it will be public. Suck it up and be dignified and authentic in response. This lesson is learned the hard way, but builds a tougher skin.
  4. We are not alone. This is not my rookie year, but I feel I have made more meaningful connections this year than in years past since participating in the social mediasphere. Give back to your network; you never know when you will need an unexpected uplift.
  5. Strategy‘ is not just a buzz word. It is very easy to get caught up in the echochamber and to be easily irritated with those that “don’t get it.” Use unfamiliarity as an opportunity to redirect, stress the structure of communications planning and integration!
  6. Just say, “Maybe you are right.” It will save you time. Some arguments just can’t be won. Choose wisely when to fall on your sword.
  7. Titles are confining; dump the definitions too. I am a communicator.
  8. Yes, we can change. No, I didn’t fall for Obama mania. I did realize it is not wise to state one’s political perspective, especially when in the minority! While we may not all agree, we have the opportunity to learn and practice tolerance.

What are your lessons learned in 2008?

(Photo courtesy srichard.)

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  • http://www.theharteofmarketing.com Beth Harte

    Lauren, this is a great reflection on 2008. I’ve learned a lot and met some truly amazing people!
    As for #8, I was WAY in the minority and I still found a way to contribute (albeit is a little snarky at times). I think it’s about adding a real voice, being passionate (no matter your beliefs/opinions) and not attacking people for their’s.
    Looking forward to spending 2009 with you and meeting you in TX! :)

  • http://blog.brainstormbrand.com/ Ed Illig

    As my mother used to say to me:
    “Edward, I’ve forgotten more than you’ll ever remember.”
    My admonition that I may have learned a lot but I’ve yet a lot to learn. :)
    Your #5 spoke to this Edward. I’ve always maintained that if people “don’t get it” I’m likely the culprit impeding their ability to do so. That, I get. ;)
    Nice reflexive post, Lauren.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/vargasl/ Lauren Vargas

    Beth-real voice without attacking is key no matter the situation!
    Ed-Too true…when I start feeling that way, I need to get out of their way! So wise…

  • http://www.ariwriter.com Ari Herzog

    As always, Lauren, you are spot-on with strategy being important, authenticity as key, and tossing the titles.
    I await for more.