From prison to ReTrain: Russell’s story
Mon May 20, 2013
9 types of leaders in Scripture
Mon May 20, 2013
by Justin Holcomb
5 bits of wisdom for the professional Christian woman
Sun May 19, 2013
by Shandel Slaten
Sat May 18, 2013
by Hugh Whelchel
Resurgence roundup, 5/17/13
Fri May 17, 2013
"I Thank My God Every Time I Remember You"
Leadership, by definition, is forward-focused.
As leaders, you and I are compelled to look ahead in anticipation of tomorrow's demands. But sometimes this foresight can prevent us from appreciating today's accomplishments. It can also blind us to a debt we all owe. With eyes fixed on the future, it's often easy to forget what, or more importantly who, is behind us.
In the wake of our success is a group of committed, gifted, and generous people who have facilitated our accomplishments. If we are great at what we do, it is due in part to the dozens, maybe even hundreds of people who have gotten behind us and have given their most valuable commodity—their time—to support our vision.
If we think about the number of hours that people spend to enable us to do what we do, we could never fully repay them.
This generosity creates a deficit in our relationships. So what do we do?
Two Simple Words
The appropriate response to that kind of generosity is to say "thank you." You can't possibly pay for the hundreds of hours volunteers give you, and you can't give the hours back. So as simple and trite as it may seem, it really is the only fitting response.
Four Ways for Sure
Obviously there's more to expressing gratitude than a quick thanks. People have a sincerity meter that registers empty thanks a mile away. Here are four things to keep in mind when communicating the appreciation you really feel.
1. Be specific.
When you say thank you, include details. There is a huge difference between saying thanks and saying thanks followed by a detailed description of what you caught, saw, or are aware the other person was doing.
2. Be public.
Over the years we have learned the value of story telling—the value of spending a few minutes in front of your leaders telling success stories that communicate vision—but more importantly, express gratitude. Public gratitude expresses a high level of value and can result in an even higher level of loyalty.
3. Be aware.
You have to develop a mindset that looks for behavior to reward. Listen for stories two or three levels away in your organization and call or write to say thank you. Even though you didn't observe the act, you communicate, "I didn't see it, but somebody else saw it and they are talking about it. What you did is significant."
4. Be honest.
Don't say you liked something you didn't. Remember, what gets rewarded gets repeated. Also, don't attribute something to someone that she didn't really do. Rather than being encouraging and motivating, you're communicating that you really weren't paying attention. So when you say thank you, be honest and don't overdo it.
Who Needs an Installment?
In Philippians 1:3–6 (NIV), Paul summarizes this practice when he writes, "I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
Paul, who accomplished so much, recognized and expressed his appreciation for the generous partnership of the Philippians that made it possible.
If the man who wrote half of the New Testament said thanks, then we should too.