People + Culture

Make Time for Facetime (and other things Larry taught me)


About a month ago, 2e waved goodbye to a great friend and colleague as Larry Emerson ventured off to pursue a new chapter in his career. His return to his photographer roots (he’s shooting art now, instead of surgical procedures) was timed perfectly. 2e is strong and growing, and Larry’s ready to focus on his life’s fourth passion (the one that comes after his wonderful wife, daughter, and puppy): revealing the art hidden in the world around us.

Even though Larry and I had been planning his graceful departure over the last couple of years, it still had the bittersweet tinge that comes when anyone close to the 2e family leaves the nest. I still count Larry among my most valued mentors, and consider myself lucky to have had the honor of learning from a brilliant connector in the prime of his career. Among all the wisdom I gathered from him (never order seafood from restaurants on Monday), here are three of the sagest Larry nuggets I’ve incorporated in my career:

  1. Collect Wonderful People – It pays to have charming, well-connected friends. At home and abroad, identify people that fascinate you (or can help land last-minute reservations at the newest joint in town) and seek to build relationships from which both parties benefit. That artisan chocolatier you met on a flight to San Diego who loves fly fishing? Be sure to send her photos from your next excursion and she may help pull you out of a pinch on Valentine’s Day.
  2. Relationships are Best Nurtured in Person – In today’s world of texting and email, it’s easy to fall under the illusion that you’re maintaining a valuable business relationship with someone you haven’t actually seen in months. Especially at 2e, where we work with clients all over the world, I often catch myself or members of our team making the false assumption that firing off an email is an adequate “checkin” for a dormant client relationship. Take the later flight home so you can grab lunch with an old contact. It’ll pay back someday.
  3. Take Time to Enjoy the Beauty that Surrounds You – I’m tremendously proud (and a little jealous) that Larry has this opportunity to focus on his passion. His entire life, he’s been fantastically good at locating the nifty little visual gems hiding in some of the most seemingly mundane environments. I’ve watched him photograph the underside of a bar stool, coo over light refracting through a wineglass, and had conversations paused as he stopped to snap a portrait of a homeless guy’s beard. There are palettes and patterns in every environment on Earth worthy of our admiration. Be sure to take a moment for them.

I’m sure I’ll be old and gray before I stop recognizing the things I’ve learned from my friend Larry. We’ll miss his Cheshire smile and penchant for wearing shades indoors, but he knows he’ll always be welcome at our table as part of the 2e gang. Just not the day before the seafood delivery.

Check out Larry’s new chapter at http://www.theartaroundyou.com.

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