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Home > Blog > In Praise of Allison, etc.
Out of Our Minds
Wednesday, July 28, 2004 3:26 PM
In Praise of Allison, etc.
Anita Sharpe on Business

I've been thinking a lot lately about the amazing group of people who have come together to create Worthwhile Magazine. From the editorial/design side to the advertising/business side, everyone is highly accomplished, incredibly talented and a joy to work with. This includes our fabulous interns (I don't even want to think about the prospect of our tech-whiz, Alex Ruimy, returning to college.)

I feel compelled to highlight the performance of one of our photographers, Allison Shirreffs, who is currently in San Francisco to take several feature shots for the magazine. (I just added another one to her plate, which she is squeezing in tonight.) Our design director, Jennifer Turner, called her this morning to see if there was any way Allison could take a Friday afternoon photo in Atlanta.

Allison said she'd take the red-eye out at midnight Thursday, try to catch a quick nap and she'd be there. 'No problem.'

Imagine what the world of work would be like if every talented person had this attitude, not to mention energy.


6 comments

Allison - 7/30/2004 6:26:56 PM
In the little under a dozen photos I have taken for this magazine, I have met some amazing people, including Susan Galvan (Susan, thank you for the kind words; the feeling is mutual) and I have no doubt the trend will continue.

Elizabeth Albrycht - 7/30/2004 5:58:11 AM
Thank you so much, all of you, for taking my comment as it was meant: a constructive reminder. It is so refreshing to see thoughtfulness, vs. defensiveness in response.

I have fought long and hard over the past five years, after leaving the madness of Silicon Valley, to find some balance in my life. I am a very type A, work all day all night person, and generally put myself last.

That is not healthy, so I must remind myself to take time for me away from work, even though I love most of what I do. This is a challenge, as I am a co-founder of a consultancy.

One of the most important skills a business leader can have is knowing when to say NO. Otherwise, that leader becomes all business, and no woman (or man, as the case may be).

Worthwhile is one of my favorite daily reads. Thanks for the effort!
Susan Galvan - 7/29/2004 12:47:04 PM
How interesting to see this comment first thing this morning, since I met Allison late yesterday afternoon. I am the 'squeezed in' shoot from yesterday.

Having my picture taken has usually been a faintly traumatic experience for me. Allison did a fantastic job,setting up and getting me in a relaxed, even playful, state of mind for the shoot. We ended up with what I think is the best photo of me ever made!

Then I got to spend some time getting to know her, as I waited for rush hour traffic to subside. What a terrific person she is, in addition to her professional talents. It was one of the most enjoyable hours I've spent in some time.

As a result, I am now feeling very excited about our new affiliation with Worthwhile and have a sense of a truly good fit with both the vision of the magazine and the people Anita has assembled to manifest it.

And Allison, speaking of balance - the mountains await :-)
Allison - 7/29/2004 11:08:07 AM
Elizabeth need not worry. If all of Worthwhile's shots were a five-hour plane ride away, I wouldn't pull out the 'red eye' strategy very often. Luckily, the shots aren't and it's an exciting time for Worthwhile.

I get a rush from working towards making the magazine, and the idea of it, a success--just like Anita, Kevin and Jennifer (the art director, who regularly responds to emails at 10pm).

Publishing a magazine isn't a sprint, it's a marathon. I'd like to believe we're all aware of our limits.

That said, Elizabeth made a great point and I'll do what I can to maintain balance in my life. I'm not just taking care of the photography, I'm taking care of myself. On that note, I'm off to get in a run before my last shoot out here....
anita - 7/29/2004 9:55:24 AM
Elizabeth, Great point and you're absolutely right.

We have worked with Allison for years (in my case, off and on for more than 15), so she knows that this type of request is not typical.

One thing I have learned starting up this magazine is that everything they say about start-ups (the 15 hour days, etc.)is true. Kevin and I appreciate all the hard work every one is putting in (one reason I wrote the post), and are committed to making it worth their while.
Elizabeth Albrycht - 7/29/2004 7:09:20 AM
Be very careful here -- you are walking a thin line that could tip your practice away from your preaching.

Was it 'worthwhile' for Allison to do this? Will she now be expected to give up a night's sleep every time you desperately need a shot (even if this is not explicitly demanded, will it be implicitly required)?

You say it would be great if everyone had this attitude. And to a point, yes it is great for the business that someone will sacrifice their personal time for it. But when does it become too much?

I worry about the unspoken, implicit demands which drive people to take on the 'I'll do anything' attitude, which ultimately can lead to burnout. Believe me, I speak from personal experience!

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