Archive for the ‘Gratitude in Business’ Category

What Regis Philbin’s Memoir, How I Got This Way Teaches Us About Regret

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

If you have watched any talk shows or you’ve even skimmed the New York Times book release lists lately, you have probably seen Regis Philbin or his name mentioned frequently. The former talk show host of Live with Regis and Kelly! just released his memoir entitled, How I Got This Way. In it he shares stories about his many years in showbiz, and takes the opportunity to thank all of the “unexpected teachers” he had in his life. Many of these people are still around to benefit from the praise he bestows on them within the pages of his book. Some, unfortunately, will never see his expressions of gratitude in print. It is my hope that Regis had the opportunity to share his feelings with people such as legendary Notre Dame coach Frank Leahy before his passing in the early 1970s. (You certainly didn’t need to follow Regis’ daily show to know how much he respected the former coaches of his alma mater.)

Memoirs can be bitter sweet to many authors. There is a deep sense of love for the process of sharing the successes and lessons of your life with others. On the other hand, there can be sadness and regret about words left unsaid.

So why are memoirs not a great way to express gratitude to the significant people in your life? I know too well how involved the process of writing a book can be and I would certainly not recommend it as an easy way to express gratitude. In addition, by the time many of us would have the available time and breath of stories to share in a memoir, some, or even many of our life’s influencers may no longer be around to enjoy it.

You don’t have to be a celebrity, or an aspiring author to express profound gratitude and enrich your significant relationships. You only need to find a way that best suits you and your influencers; it could be in the form of a song, a poem, a letter, an in-person event, a video, and much more.

Have you expressed gratitude towards someone who has made an impact on your life lately? How did you do it? What benefits did you both get from the experience? I would love to hear your story and with your permission, share it here on this site.

Introducing a Very Special Person…

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

This past weekend I had the pleasure to speak to members of the Chief Executive Organization and their spouses at a conference in Las Vegas.  In the audience was a CEO of a major financial firm who was to introduce the speaker following my presentation.

As the CEO finished describing the speaker’s impressive achievements in developing Las Vegas into the entertainment, gambling and convention center mecca that it is today, he took a few minutes to add an impromptu expression of profound gratitude.  He addressed the audience with, “I want to add a few more remarks that were inspired by Walter’s earlier presentation.”  He proceeded to describe his heartfelt gratitude for all this man had done for him and the impact he had on him over more than two decades.  It was obviously done spontaneously and he became very emotional.

It was a remarkable moment on several counts.  First, it was clearly a tribute that the person was so very pleased to be able to give.  Second, the recipient of his praise was also moved.  Last but not least, it was a remarkable demonstration for the whole audience in not only the power of expressing gratitude but also the logic of doing it now.  It was clear that the message of This Is the Moment resonated with the audience but it was doubly gratifying for me to hear it beautifully modeled within moments following my presentation.

If you had an opportunity to introduce someone who made a significant impact in your life, what would you share with the audience?  What memories would come to mind?  It only takes a few moments to make an impromptu and heartfelt expression of gratitude.

Reach out to someone today and make them center stage.  I’d love to hear your dedication.   Please share them with our gratitude community in the comments section below or share your story confidentially by clicking here .

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Is There Room in Your Organization for Expressions of Gratitude?

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

I couldn’t agree more with Andrew Scharf in his piece entitled, “The Optimism Of Gratitude: Business.” He writes, “In many organizations, focus is given to mistakes or errors made. What this stipulates is that leaders and managers often hone in on what they do not like and drive the errors or mistake into a state culpability.”  As a result, “the firm becomes fixated on problems rather than geared to promoting innovation or out-of-the-box solutions.”

The power of positive acknowledgement in business has been written about from Ken Blanchard’s, The One Minute Manager to the leadership visions of Peter Drucker.   When I was CEO/Chairman of my company with some 1,400 employees, I introduced the concept of “one-on-ones” which provided me the opportunity to meet with individuals two or more reporting levels below me.  I was able to express my gratitude to these people for their specific contributions to the company.

This acknowledgement and personal connection was a real motivator not just because someone was expressing sincere and genuine gratitude but because it came from a level within the organization that was unexpected.  It carried more weight and I believe I got just as much out of the experience as they did.  It was a wonderful way to spend time with the staff and it enriched the level of trust and respect throughout the organization.

When I took my yearlong journey of gratitude that I wrote about in my book, This Is the Moment, I included those people who had influenced my life in and out of business.  I was happy that I did it at this stage even if it was after I had sold the company, but knowing what I know now, I would have made a point to recognize more of my colleagues for their lifetime of influence during the time we worked together.

What practices do you have in place at your organization that promote gratitude and enriches relationships among colleagues and departments?  Please share them with the other readers here in the comments section.  Your idea may be the best thing that could happen to someone else’s organization.

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