by Emily Sollie
I remember as a kid, overhearing my dad, a small business owner, quoting the oft-repeated maxim that the key to management was to “hire smart people, then get out of their way.” At the time, I didn’t really understand what that meant, but by the time years later when I reached a point in my own career when I was managing staff, it made perfect sense. Strong teams are made up of people who care deeply about their work, who are at their best when they’re given the space to do what they’re good at. And that’s the way I try to manage, though I’m sure I often fall short of that goal.
I am blessed in my work at LWR to manage a wonderful team. As the director for creative services, I oversee the group responsible for most of the communication materials at LWR. We are a small and prolific group of highly creative and passionate people who do our best to share the LWR story with the outside world, in a variety of ways. And I am deeply grateful for each individual on the team – for bringing their hearts and souls to work every day, and for sharing their unique gifts with LWR. They make it a joy to come to work. Here are just a few of the many things I appreciate about each member of the Creative Services team:
Erik is our digital media manager. I’m grateful for his unique blend of artistic talent and technical know-how, for the way he moves seamlessly between creating stunning videos and managing the back end of the website to make sure everything’s running properly.
Katey is our program assistant for creative services and marketing, spending the year with us as part of the Lutheran Volunteer Corps. I’m grateful for Katey’s sunny personality and the way she immediately integrated herself into the team – and for her keen eye for media opportunities!
Lauren is our project manager. I’m grateful for the way Lauren keeps everything on track and moving forward, for her impressive organizational skills, and for her thorough and thoughtful editing.
Nikki is our staff writer, who recently blogged about her gratitude for words. I’m grateful for Nikki’s dedication, for her storytelling ability, her knack for connecting with people she interviews for stories, and for her thirst for learning.
Greg is our senior designer, and I am grateful for his eye for color and texture, his speed when deadlines are tight, and his eagerness to try new things.
And that’s just scratching the surface. I’m grateful for the individual gifts of each person, and I’m also grateful for the way we work together – bouncing ideas off each other, collaborating, communicating, pushing, questioning, suggesting, always with respect and always with the end goal of doing our collective best.
And, finally, I’m grateful for this opportunity to publicly thank each of them for their fantastic work and for their commitment to using their gifts to create a world where everyone can live in justice, dignity and peace.
“We are grounded in profound thankfulness for God’s gracious, self-giving love for all humankind, revealed in the redemptive acts of Jesus Christ. Gratitude marks the way we relate to one another and to all creation. Though our experiences vary, we view community as a gift. We give thanks for our wondrous diversity. We celebrate being alive. We abound with joy, hopefulness, hospitality and deep appreciation for the gift of one another (Psalm 136).”