The things that are easy to do are also the things that are easy not to do. The more the pace of our lives speed up, the greater the impact the simple gestures of life will have on those most deserving of them. And near the very top of my list of simple gestures that have profound consequences is the lost art of writing thank – you notes.
Everyone loves getting mail – it’s a fact of human nature. We all have a deep – seated need to feel important. I truly love receiving letters from people who have read my books and used the lessons within them to make positive changes in their lives. Few things excite me as much as receiving a bag full of mail from men and
women who have attended one of my seminars and seen their careers take off and their personal lives improve.And knowing how much joy I feel when I receive mail from others, I try my best to respond to every letter that comes across my desk with a thank – you note of my own.
Even in the case of the people I deal with on a daily basis – executives calling to book me for a speaking engagement, people who attend my personal coaching programs, members of the media requesting an interview and businesspeople calling me with new opportunities – I try to follow up on every encounter with a sincerely written thank – you note. Sure, it takes time. Sure, there might be pressing things on my agenda. But few acts have the power to build and cement relationships like a heart – felt letter of thanks. It shows you care and that you are considerate and human. So this week, go out and buy a package of the blank thank – you cards that are now available in bulk at your local office supply warehouse and start writing. You – and all the people that you deal with – will be glad you did.
The above article has been taken from the Book “Who will Cry When You Die” by Robin Sharma.
“Beware, so long as you live, of judging men by their outward appearance “. –Jean de La Fontaine
We all go through so much throughout our lives! Not only that, we all go through so much throughout even only one day! If we go through moments in which we are not at our best, then you can pretty much bet that everyone is on that same boat! If you have your bad moments then you are in good company, or as I had heard it expressed at one time about a fellowship, it is just a bunch of fellows on the same ship! We are all in a sense of like passion, and at the same time we all have similar weaknesses, we all have our moments!
This thought came to mind today as I was been observing a person for past few years, saw again last week and during this time she was always a very cheerful person. This time around, having seen her more recently it is apparent that she is going through a difficult time in her life as she simply is “not herself”. How do I know that she is “not herself”, well it is because I have met her on different occasions. I came to know she lives alone, she is struggling with her job and her financial status might be not that good. It would be unfair, in my opinion, whether I have to form an opinion about her personality just by having met her at this time in her life.
Sad to say this is what we do over and over in our lifetime! We meet someone and they may be going through a rough spot and are not the nicest people who have met and we will deduct that they are simply “grumpy people” when the fact of that matter is, they are only going through a temporary low. You simply cannot judge people on a one time meeting and yet, we are being judged continually based on this one time encounter. If only we could be more like God who judges our hearts and not by our outward appearance.
Yes it is true, first impressions are the most lasting, but we need to be careful not to get stuck on that first time encounter and give people a break. Perhaps they need you to give them a smile, an encouragement of some sort, or compliment that could “make their day” and perhaps restore their faith in humanity!
Don’t judge a book by its cover, try reading it through a few chapters and then you can have a better idea of what it is all about!
“We’re living proof that nice guys always finish last.” –Matthew Cooper
Who doesn’t like to be liked? Life seems to be a lot better when you believe that everyone really likes you and you are seen as to be a very nice person! It is important to be nice, but there are moments in which you have to get it in your head that being nice will get you absolutely nowhere!
After starting out a lot of things I finally got into a media company and was determined with my new venture,thought to be nice to everyone making the work environment a positive place to be and to instill in everyone the vision of maintaining a good standard of cleanliness and organization. This is all a wonderful plan, only one little problem, not everyone has the company at heart, many are just present in body from the time they clock in until they clock out, and the only real interest they have is to fulfill the bare minimum in order to get their pay check at the end of the month.
Wishing to make it clear what standard was expected I would make sure that everything was done to perfection and so I would spend time to leave a good example to the next shift of employees so that they could witness, through my example, what should be expected of them once they took on their slot. Well I soon found out that people will be people and most of them truly do love work… they would watch it all day long! The message that I was hoping to portray was strangely misread, the others were happy that I was willing to go the extra mile so that they could take it a bit easier! I was simply trying to lead by example and be a nice guy to show my willingness to do the work that they too were expected to do.
I am not saying that you need to be mean in order to be a good employee and that being nice is not something to be as a person, but there are moments and positions and places where you have to not have the illusion that others will appreciate your kind acts. The fact of the matter is, at your work place, you will be talked about in a negative way regardless of how nice you are. If you want to get things accomplished you need to be pleasantly firm otherwise you will find that the roles will be inadvertently reversed, you will be dancing to the tune of your co-workers.
By being too easy-going you will be doing no one a favor, not yourself nor those you need to oversee. They will never grow into more responsible individuals and you will never be a good employee or an entrepreneur by trying to be “Mr. Nice Guy”. Be nice, yes, but don’t forget the reason you were hired or why you are in the position that you are in! The boss will always look you through crossed eyes no matter how “nice” you might be, unless you happen to have some amazingly mature people who have their work truly at heart.
Have you ever tried to be nice and ended up confused why it didn’t quite work out?
“A leader’s role is to raise people’s aspirations for what they can become and to release their energies so they will try to get there.” David R. Gergen
Many people have the misconception that a leader is a person that knows everything, tells everything, and is someone who is always at minimum tens steps ahead of everyone else, and for this reason they are the leader! But leaders are those who first of all are capable (and smart enough) to assemble a winning combination of people who are suited for the job and can teach them the joys of teamwork.
Anyone can run around and boss everyone around and tell others what to do, but who wants to do that when if you could develop the inner talent of those you work with and inspire in them to reach decisions within their realm of expertise! If you want to always “call the shots” and be the “big cheese” and make sure everyone knows who the boss is, what you will eventually realize, if not sooner, then later is that you are becoming a cork and the bottleneck to progress!
In every business, be it large or small, there are so many things that need to be taken care of. Surely at the beginning stages as you are forming a team, you will need to get more involved, but if you do not begin early on to use the art of delegation and teaching others to make those petty decisions, you will find yourself with a big problem. Everything is waiting on you, and nothing is getting done because you have not taken the time to inspire in others how to make wise decisions.
If you have carefully selected your team members and are happy with who you have chosen, then it is time to become a funnel. What is a funnel? Someone who can take in a large amount of ideas and suggestions and begin the process to bring it down to a workable solution. It is important to be open to others observations and ideas and to encourage them to think things out and make the right questions in order to arrive to the proper solutions! You are simply there to give the thumbs up when they have reached the right decision.
You don’t have to have all of the answers, you just need to know where the ship is heading, work together with your team to find the best way to guide the ship in the right direction. That to me is sign of real leadership!
Are you a funnel or a cork?