Leadership Limerick: Gratitude, Not Platitude

Every Monday, I offer a leadership limerick, highlighting an idea or strategy about effective leadership in limerick form. Searching for leadership limerick will identify previous posts.

It’s the time of the year filled with gratitude
Which should be a more regular attitude

When your appreciation is specific
The response will be more terrific

So always offer more than a platitude

We often say it is "the thought that counts."  During the months of November and December when so many holiday cards and gifts are exchanged, it's important to remember their true purpose: reconnecting, reaffirming, and renewing the relationships we value.

image: myexpression.com
The feedback and appreciation that counts the most is as thoughtful, specific, and personal as possible, not something generic or general.  An attitude of gratitude is best invested in expressions that are sincere and heartfelt, a statement about the relationship(s) involved.  That can be tough if your list of people is long and the hours in the day are not.  So we need to be even more intentional when trying to communicate with the masses.  

Never let the quantity of those on your list impede the quality of your message to them.  With a little creativity and planning you can still say thanks or offer praise in ways that feel individualized, not impersonal.

Update 12/12 afternoon

After publishing my post, I read a great Inc. magazine column from Jason Fired (of 37signals) on Rethinking the Holiday Bonus.  It's a great tie-in to what I was saying. 

P.S.  Sometimes though there is value in just reaching out to the masses and creating a cause for celebration for milestones that otherwise might be missed.  This is my 500th post, and I greatly appreciate you regularly sharing your most precious gift: your attention in reading and responding.  So I'd like to offer you a gift as well: receive a $500 reduction in fee for any 2012 work you schedule with me between now and year's end.  

When contacting me, be sure to mention the 500th Post Special.  Don't delay though as I only have 11 slots remaining for new project work or speaking or facilitation engagements.  Two new programs (and one classic) that you can consider in addition to my other topics and custom-designed learning experiences are:
  1. Refreshing Your Competitive Advantage, a half-day or full-day session introducing participants to core innovation principles and the practice of design thinking and then engaging them in hands-on "lab" time refreshing one of their value chains, programs, or services. Get just a taste of what this session covers in this short, two-page CalSAE magazine article, or watch a longer video of the opening session I did for this fall's ASAE InnovationTalks day.
  2. Toward a More Sustainable You, a keynote, breakout, or half-day session exploring the sustainable choices required to create a personal and professional life that is big enough to have meaning, yet small enough to manage.  Preview this topic in my five-minute IGNITE Talk from this past August's ASAE Annual Meeting.
  3. The Art of Facilitation: How to Enhance Results and Maximize Individuals' Contributions, a signature program refined over the years and updated continuously.  In our increasingly collaborative workspaces, everyone (Particularly association volunteers) must be capable of facilitating project teams, group meetings, conference calls, strategy conversations, and other interactions with colleagues.  Best done in a half-day or full-day format, the core concepts can also be introduced in a breakout session.