Jul 20, 2018 5:01:00 AM
Nov 4, 2016 5:01:00 AM
“A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues.” – Cicero
This week, I was able to spend some time with two of my favorite people – Maureen Goodson and Mary Guthrie of the National Postal Forum (NPF). We were in Washington DC to attend a briefing at the U.S. Postal Service headquarters. Arriving early, we used the time to discuss ideas about next year’s conference in Baltimore, MD.
My involvement with the NPF has grown over time. From being one member of a panel in 1995 to delivering multiple classes each year to sponsoring events like the Habitat for Humanity build. With the help of Maureen’s staff, we’re looking to do even more in 2017.
The NPF isn’t the only conference in the print and mailing industry, nor is it the only one I attend. But it is the only one that I’ll go out of my way to support, whether that means leading extra classes, delivering webinars or publishing blog posts. When Maureen asked why I’m so loyal, I had a very simple answer – for over 20 years, I’ve never not been thanked.
That may sound obvious. However, the NPF has thousands of attendees, senior government officials as speakers, dozens of presenters, and Fortune 500 companies as sponsors. It could be very easy to miss a single contributor from a smaller company in the midst of that crowd. But that never happened. And that wasn’t an accident.
It takes conscious effort to create a positive, thankful culture in any organization – a company, a local fundraising group, or a book club. Leaders have to set the example, recognizing the efforts of everyone involved. Everyone has to see the people at the top taking the time to thank all contributors – regardless of level.
And while leaders have to set the example, the entire organization has to believe in the importance of acknowledgement. You don’t have to be a senior vice-president to say, “Thank you” – to a customer, a contributor, or a peer. It’s always correct to express your appreciation.
Of course, this same attitude should extend to our personal lives. We’re all beneficiaries of gifts from others – some small, some life-changing – all important. We need to let that person know we appreciate their actions. Recognizing their support can take the form of a note, a phone call or a simple, sincere expression of thanks at the moment.
The impact of your actions may last a lifetime.
Oct 28, 2016 4:34:34 AM
"The time is always right to do what's right." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
Oct 21, 2016 5:01:00 AM
May 6, 2016 5:00:00 AM
Mar 4, 2016 5:00:00 AM
“Great acts are made up of small deeds.” – Lao Tzu
Dec 18, 2015 5:00:00 AM
“Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness.” – Seneca
My sister-in-law Marguerite is a kind person. She thinks of others before she thinks of herself. For her 50th birthday, she chose to run a race with me to raise money for veterans with traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorders. She’s someone who opens her home and heart to the world. Marguerite’s also one of the strongest people I know.
My cousin Peter served over 20 years in the Army as an Airborne Ranger Infantry Officer. He volunteered for two tours of duty in Vietnam where he was awarded the Bronze Star multiple times. His command presence hasn’t diminished over the years, and I still call him “Sir” or “Colonel”, and stand up straight when he talks to me. Peter’s also one of the nicest people I know.
Many people mistakenly confuse kindness with weakness or strength with cruelty. The opposite is true. It’s the truly strong who display compassion to others. It’s the toughest people that can shoulder the burdens of another, even while facing their own challenges. The resolute are unwavering in supporting the vulnerable.
It’s equally important to separate the notions of “strength” and “power”. Dictators have power, but are really just weak leaders who must use fear and coercion to force others to follow them. Bullies are able to dominate the timid and the defenseless, but when confronted, their cowardly character is revealed. The egotistical puts themselves first, yet will often find no one behind them.
Those with real strength don’t need to intimidate, threaten or pressure others. Instead, they lead by example, often with quiet, understated potency. They’re able to understand the difference between monetary value and real worth. They will often leave themselves in a vulnerable position – even to the point of suffering injury – to make others safe.
Sep 4, 2015 5:30:00 AM
“It may not be my job, but it is my privilege, honor and blessing.” – Mark Case
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