I once heard of an executive of a large company, who kept a small notepad on the corner of his desk. All day long, we would write down the names of people he met with that day, people he had long discussions with on the phone, or anyone who went out of their way to help him. The executive then carved out the last 30 minutes of every day he was at the office to stop the activities of the day and write a thank you note to everyone on that list.
I am willing to bet that any recipient of these letters felt extremely valued and appreciated for the time and efforts they had given to the executive – and possibly more prone to help him again in the future! It is amazing how such a small thing can mean so much to people – the simple task of saying Thank You.
I think we do not say “thank you” enough in our day to day life. What I am talking about is more than me signing “thanks, BMF” at the end of my emails, but more so going out of your way to say “Thank You” in a meaningful way – taking a few minutes to really say thank you and to appreciate the work of others.
To me, being grateful is one of the greatest things that a leader can do. When we think about being a servant leader, we realize that this must be someone who is humble and looking out for the needs of others. I am also thinking that a servant leader must be thankful and grateful to those around him.
You have an opportunity each and everyday to let people know you appreciate them and what they do for you or for your organization. I think that when you become a grateful leader, people will want to follow you. They will be willing to commit more efforts to you because they will know that you value and appreciate them, they will feel good about their work, and they will be motivated because they know you care not only about what they do, but also who they are.
My challenge to you is to say “Thank You” today. Take a few minutes today to sit down and write a thank you note to someone and actually snail-mail it, send an email that will let someone know how much you appreciate them, or have a one-on-one conversation explaining your gratefulness to someone.
I believe if we become grateful leaders we not only will be doing what we are called to do as servant leaders, but we will motivate others to greatness, let others know we value them, and see the benefits of a much healthier team in the future.
How do you express gratitude best?