The power of saying “Thank You”, we believe creates and are two of the greatest world changing, game-changing , life full-filling words possible to be ever spoken or written by any of us. The principle of saying “Thank You” is often engrained in us as small children by our parents, or even by a teacher or a coach, as we get a little older. And for some, maybe it has never been engrained or instilled as having a heart of thankfulness or gratitude. In working with veterinary students routinely, or working to improve the lives of people I am involved with on a routine basis, we often discuss this very simple principle. And as we find, there are a good number of people of whom we must help learn, understand, and execute this principle.
George H W Bush, a successful WW II veteran, an oil magnate, former Director of the CIA, former Vice President of the United States, and the 41rst President of the United States, was being interviewed one time, and the question was asked, “What is the one thing that helped make you as successful as you have been?” And his reply was, “Writing 10 thank-you notes a day.” Now, we know this simple principle didn’t do everything to create and sustain his success, but we do know, it was a very big force in his surgence to success and continued success. You can’t hardly argue with the principle, as there are other titans out there who live by the same rule, such as Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Snyder, and Brian Buffini. The real question is for each of us, is how do we feel inside when we not only get a verbal “thank you” from someone, but a handwritten “thank you”? A handwritten note gives the opportunity for two people to connect. The person writing the note makes a deposit into the other person’s emotional account in that very event of reading that hand writing note. And it is at that very event that certain loyalty synapses fire and create a greater level of appreciate for each other, and when those people are called upon each other, those people will work harder for each other and with each other. Those people will turn and help each other achieve greater goals they may be in pursuit of. A very simple principle, yet holds such great power. Such great power that George HW Bush said it was the one thing that created his massive success.
We all learn to be thankful, and want to have a heartfelt spirit of gratitude, but it takes effort, determined action, and repeated execution to write daily notes of gratitude. It is hard to be hateful when we are grateful. It is hard to be entitled when we are grateful. It is hard to be impatient or anxious when we are grateful. It is hard to be jealous or envious when we are grateful. It is hard to be all things associated with any kind of evil, when we are grateful. So today, just today, let’s all work to have a heartfelt spirit of gratitude, to have an attitude of gratitude. We all need the daily reminder. And to take it a step further, write a note to someone you need to thank. Or write 10 notes to 10 different people you need to thank. And look to make that a daily habit! A heartfelt spirit of gratitude may make you the next President. It may allow you to demonstrate the level of care of service you provide. Or it may allow you to make a deposit into someone’s emotional account, that day. We live in a world today where we plant a seed and expect a bountiful harvest tomorrow. But without a daily spirit of gratitude, there may never be a harvest. Go plant some seeds! Happy Leadership Thursday!