Great leaders show appreciation, extravagantly!
In the late 1990’s my mom joined the computer age. She’d heard about email and thought it would be great to get a computer and learn to communicate electronically. She was in her early 70’s when she purchased a computer. She took a class offered at the local high school but she still hadn’t conquered the internet world. Then she solicited the help of a neighbor. After several lessons she was online, with an email address.
This was a great conquest for her and she was certainly excited; and rightly so. One day I received an email from her saying she’d finally got an email account and was ready to go. I thought I’d help get her started. I quickly sent out a mass email to everyone in my address book who knew my mom. I informed them that mom could now receive email and would love to hear from them.
I envisioned her getting some emails and being so excited to hear from these friends. I knew she’d love the correspondence. She’d spend some time getting back in touch with people and keeping them informed about our family’s doings. I knew she’d like to be informed about what other family and friends were doing. It was great to be so instrumental in helping her to maximize the benefits of her new knowledge.
A couple of days later I received a phone call from my daughter who was away at college. She told me she had received a strange thank you note from grandma in the mail. In the note, my mom thanked my daughter for emailing her. My daughter thought it was a little odd to get a thank you note for an email. When I got home from my office, I checked the mail. I had received a thank you from mom. I called my mom and asked about the note.
She informed me of her dilemma. Mom had received a ton of email, but hadn’t learned how to reply. In talking with her I found out that for every email she had received she had responded with a hand written note. I thought I was helping my mother, but my efforts resulted in her spending over a hundred dollars in note cards and postage. That’s how important saying “thank you” was to my mother.
I’ve learned a lot of things from my mother. But her demonstration of appreciation is something I’ll never forget. When she got sick the greeting card business must have noticed. She had to be one of their biggest customers. Mom taught me to say thank you. And not just to say thank you, but to be free and extravagant in showing appreciation and recognizing the efforts of others.
Points to Ponder –
How free and extravagant are you in showing your appreciation to others? Do you go out of your way to let others know you appreciate them?
Think of the last few times someone told you they appreciated you. How did it make you feel? How did you respond?
Why do you think it’s harder for people to show appreciation today than it was a generation ago?
Copyright 2014 LeadersBridge