How to give a sincere thank-you

Everyone loves being sincerely thanked but did you know there is a right way and a wrong way to do it?

Keys to giving a great thank-you:

1.Smile warmly

2. Look the person you’re thanking straight in the eye

3. Be very specific in what you’re thanking them for

4. Take your time and speak from the heart

That’s it! 

How not to give a thank you: click here


Plan the work

So much of executing on a plan is taking the time on the front end to work through the proposed strategy and break it into actionable steps. To claim a goal without any kind of map to follow is a recipe for chaos.

When developing a plan, take as much time as you need to think it through and look at it from all angles. Think the big project through to the end and then break it back into medium pieces and then into small pieces and then into bite-size "to-do today" pieces. 

Do not feel like you’re wasting time because you’re planning and not "working". A leader’s job is to chart the course but if you don’t know which course to chart then what kind of leader are you? Take as much time as you need getting the plan organized and when you feel like you’re 100% clear about the action plan and feel confidant that you can explain it to your team in a simple exciting way then and only then do you start moving toward your team’s goal. 

Action without a plan is a waste of everyone’s time. Remember, there is no award for being the busiest leader – just for getting results. 

Ego-less Adjustment

From almost ten years working in coaching and recruiting, I would have to say that one of the marks of a person with excellent leadership potential is someone who can take constructive criticism and then put it to use without drama, defensiveness, or anger.

How do you handle it when someone tells you something you don’t want to hear (but need to hear)? Do you take it as a slight and get hostile or do you feel an incredible amount of gratitude because they have given you a tool to help you become an even better leader?

We are all imperfect, incredibly flawed people. When someone corrects you it does not mean that they think they’re better than you; it means that they think you can be a better you. Take that correction as a valuable asset and use it. No drama, just progress. 


No Such Thing As One Size Fits All

I don’t know about you but I read A LOT  of business how-to books. I love reading about strategy, customer service, employee engagement…you name it. More than just the reading, I love to put the ideas I get from reading to work. When I first started reading non-fiction books, every time I found a great tip, I would immediately start using it. This worked great until I would read a book whose tips contradicted the advice I had previously taken. More than once I have found myself frustrated to the max because of not knowing which answer was the best answer. 

The truth: no one person can give you perfect 100% guaranteed business advice. Everyone’s view is affected by THEIR personality, THEIR experiences, and THEIR agenda (plus endless amounts of other variables). I remember reading a quote by Seth Godin that said something to the effect of  "everyone asks me what the secret to business success is. I have no idea. You just keep at it." Nothing always works. 

When you’re learning something, ask yourself whether the advice makes sense for you and is appropriate for the circumstances you’re facing. Not all advice will work for you. Pray as your read for God to give you wisdom and insight and to see what He needs you to see so that you can grow to the next level.  Look at all books as collections of good ideas that may or may not be relevant to the problems you’re trying to solve.  Trust your gut to tell you which ideas you need to act on and which you need to archive. 

There is no such thing as a "guaranteed one size fits all" solution so don’t even try to look for it. 

No perfect trees here

I was "helping" my pre-school aged sons set up the Christmas tree last night (ok watching – they wouldn’t let me help) and I got to thinking about organizational leverage. As I watched my boys put all the decorations on one-side of the tree, I thought back to last year when they were 2 and 3 and weren’t really capable of doing a whole lot to help out. Although it was fun the previous year to see their excited faces as I decorated the tree, I had to do the whole job myself (which was not so fun).

Some leaders have a belief that "if you want something done right you have to do it yourself." If you want to do everything yourself, then why in the world do you have a team? Maybe HR should move everyone to another team so you can do the job correctly by yourself. A leader’s job is to lead a team of people who can work inter-dependently to get the job done and not be the center-piece player everyone stands by and watches do a perfect job "decorating the tree". 

Leadership is about leverage. You do your job, they do their job and the job gets done. Whose to say your way is the best way? What does it cost you as a leader to not let your team do the job in their own way? I can tell you for sure that by you needing to have your hands in everything, you are hurting the self-esteem of your team mates and disrespecting their abilities to get the job done. 

Don’t treat your team like 2 and 3 year olds. Give them some space and see what they can do – you’re paid to get results, not do it perfect.