How many times has your boss said “thank you” and it was heard as blah blah blah?

How many times has your boss said, “Thank you Susie for your hard work and for staying late and for making a difference every day with our projects so they are on time and a success”?

Here is  ONE EXAMPLE of a message from a boss that made a BIG impression.  My friend’s daughter works for a well respected restaurant group in Chicago and shared this letter sent from her boss at the end of the year.  She felt it was a note of a tiny bit of acknowledgment and gratitude for her work and motivating that she took a minute to highlight each individual in the group and share that with the team. Recognition together is powerful.

“As the year ends I can truly say I have never been so excited about the New Year that lies ahead.  This year was one of challenges, innovation and much success.  My Thank You Toast to My Amazing Team (in alphabetical order). (There is sparkling grape juice in the refrigerator that we can raise our glass and share.)  

Anna-your many, 30, years with the company says it all but from your smile to your endless energy and drive to create, maintain, and make the gift card program stay one of the best in the country, you impress us all every day.

Anjali- for your enthusiasm and amazing photos that elevate to an incredible level so much of what we do in design

Allison- for your energy and openness to trying and doing new things

Avril-for the brightest smile and tremendous dedication to your projects

Bob P-for always being so helpful and positive

Bob W-for your guidance on even the most difficult situations and always being open to listen

Chris-is there anything you can’t do? Thank you for always jumping in when something needs to be done

Dan-for quietly and modestly continuing day after day to put out some amazing work for our company and for being such a nice person to work with in the suite

Eli-for your drive, your desire to learn and your ambition to always take on new things when you see something that catches your eye

Elissa-for your extreme dedication and tremendous customer service

Janis-for your honesty, your caring and a as your ideas and drive to make things better when you see opportunity and also for being direct as well

Jasmine-for one of the best laughs and fabulous passion with the  work

Jason-for keeping the design machine going, your empathy and support for your team and for the stores and your great sense of humor

John- for your intelligence, sense of style your directness and desire to literally build a beautiful future of this company 

Luke-for being my teammate and for the fabulous web work that you do that is den all around the world “

(and there were 17 other people that she highlighted with specific acknowledgement that was sincere.  She ended with…)

               “I look forward to a very exciting 2014 with all of you together”…and signed her official signature, one of the top executives!

THIS WAS POWERFUL FOR EVERYONE MENTIONED -its not corny!  She established her leadership, proud of her team. When raises for this group are 2% which converts to about $1000/yr or less and no bonus…recognition matters!


The second example is from an area manager at Crate and Barrel to her direct reports and her peers.  She received lots of responses.  Peers are a  group  not to be overlooked as only together can they achieve high performance.

“Before the day gets away from me and everyone gets too busy…I just wanted to send out a very special wish to all of you. Throughout the week,  as I’ve been stuck in traffic, I’ve had lots of time to think. Call it my quiet moments in a chaotic and crazy season. 


Thinking about all the challenges and transitions of the past year…the moments of excitement and pride and the frustrations of when things weren’t going quite as planned.. I inevitably end up thinking how lucky and grateful I am to have spent my life with a company that has people like you

You keep me strong and going when life gets a little crazy. The laughter and fun never gets stale. I love your passion, commitment and love for the people, product and presentation. You are all a part of my life not just as co-workers but as friends.And I wouldn’t be the same person without all of you. So thank you from the bottom of my heart. I wish you all a very special Christmas day and a glorious new year filled with laughter, love, friends and family

…and I’ll be thinking of you all tonight after I have placed the last wrapped package under the tree…a light scent of balsam and smoke from the fire will be in the air and there will be a moment of complete silence encompassing the house as I sit reflecting…. on how lucky I truly am…”

Obvious-Sometimes Overlooked-Powerful in its Simplicity
What more can you do within your groups?

NEWS THIS WEEK: Boston financial industry records a banner year. The return to better times for the large community of money managers is met with quiet exuberance. Funds, assets, investment gains of 8-13% are met with caution. Money has been made and earned. But conservative spending, cautious hiring will make sure that 2013 was not an anomaly. Quiet happiness is our psyche. Opening wallets to spend is questionable!

WOMEN IN THE NEWS: Janet Yellen on the cover of Time Magazine. Love her…she is my age, so I am feeling quite inadequate, you can imagine. Her big contribution is only just beginning. She believes we will have stronger growth this year, holding down interest rates, which will encourage spending and recovery. Okey, her husband is a Nobel Prize winner but did over 50% of the childcare for their son who is 32, an economics professor. I share her thoughts about blending work and family experiences…whoops, I almost said she shares my thoughts about lower wages for jobs:
Some employers set pay higher to demonstrate that they value employees in a way that motivates them to do good work, even when markets are ready to undercut those wages. Lower wages don’t always lead to higher employment. Kitchen table realism and clarity to challenge.
I would love to have dinner with her…she is a foodie too! Wouldn’t you?
Should I send her an invitation when she is in Boston?