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‘Thank You’ Leader

By July 24, 2011February 14th, 2019Articles, Leadership, leadership

‘Thank You’ Leaders

Great leaders have acute awareness and a certainty about what is going on around them. These leaders not only observe, they listen and they learn how to best utilise the information their sensory acuity is delivering. Working for one of these leaders is inspiring and motivating. The fact they have awareness around what and how you are operating enables them to provide coaching, support and encouragement. It can elevate you to the next level.

Working for a “Thank You” Leader

I once had a leader like this. He was fantastic at acknowledging me for great work and for providing some constructive feedback when required. I loved working for him and I went the extra mile. My job wasn’t a glamorous one at the time. It was a get down and dirty type role with lots of the crappy small things that had to be done to ensure a big difference was achieved. Even though my Boss would not have had the slightest appreciation for my role, he always said thank you for my efforts, despite the gravity. Make no mistake, I was paid well and didn’t expect to be thanked all the time, however, his continual acknowledgments, outside the normal reward and recognition programs that were in place, made me feel validated, valued and that my efforts counted. I had an unshakable confidence that I was achieving great success, and I wanted more of it. What a great culture my Boss fostered. That is the power of two words – ‘Thank You’. Imagine the momentum you could create by saying thank you daily.

Leaders With The Opposite Effect

I chat with staff often, commonly when completing 360-degree feedback. It’s alarming how common it is that leaders do not thank their staff. When I ask them how it makes them feel I am often presented with a shrug and ‘I guess they don’t know what I am doing or they don’t care. It’s about the dollar you know.’ Heartbreaking stuff. You’ll find these people will show up again the next day and try again, maybe even go one step further to be acknowledged only to be ignored again. After all, leaders are busy right? There is so much to do and so little time. Pppfffttt!

Be Thankful For Your Assets

Let me assure you leaders, your people are the greatest asset to your business. If you have employed people you need them. You need them to operate at their best, you need them to be the best that they can be and you need to foster their growth and development. These people are your brand ambassadors and they have bought into your dream, your vision and your goals. If you make them feel like the bottom line counts more than them, it may have a negative effect on your business. Leaders may lose staff hand over fist and risk losing good people because they have made people feel trivial to the business. These leaders didn’t take the time to inject encouragement and support into the muscle of their business, their people.

Leaders Just Do It.

The catch cry of Nike is ‘just do it’. Take action! Saying thank you can be an illusion for leaders at times. Many are genuinely saddened when I give them the news their team does not feel valued. They honestly believe they have thanked their teams consistently. Sometimes that thank you can remain a thought. Ensure you verbally thank your team, if it’s not every day, at least every second. Ensure you are trying to catch them doing the right things. Change your focus if you have to. The power of doing this is creating a culture like my Boss did, where I and the rest of our team, went over and above for him consistently. Because we knew our efforts counted. We were loyal, attendance rates were high and results exploded. This is what you can create leaders by saying thank you.

Authenticity Caveat!

Leaders this is big and super important. Do not say thank you for thank you's sake! Please ensure your message is authentic and warranted. The last thing you want to do is say thank you when there is nothing to thank people for, therefore delivering a very unauthentic message. It will lose impact and have the opposite effect. Leaders think your thank you's through.


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