Take the Thanks Giving Leadership Challenge

Posted 11.23.2011

As Thanksgiving Day approaches in the United States, here’s a personal leadership challenge that could have an impact long after the turkey leftovers are gobbled up.

If you’re a leader (at work, in the community, at home – it doesn’t matter where), take up the challenge to give your true and sincere thanks to someone who deserves it at least once a week for the next year. Here’s how it works:

1. Every week identify at least one specific thing that someone did for you or that contributed to the cause.

2. Get clear with yourself about why what they did mattered to you or the organization. Come up with at least two or three points about what they did and how they did it.  Commit those points to memory.

3. Go talk to that person. If the conversation is in person, square up to them, open up your body language and make good eye contact. If they’re on web cam or the phone, do those things anyway – some of the positive energy will come across over the wires.

4. Thank them for what they did and how they did it. Tell them the difference it made to you. For extra credit, don’t just talk about the impact on results; talk about the positive way it made you feel. Don’t be afraid to make a connection.

5. As you close the thank you, shake their hand, pat them on the back or, if it’s appropriate, give them a hug.

When was the last time the designated leader thanked you in such a way that you really knew they meant it? It felt pretty good, didn’t it? You’ve got the power to do that for others.

Taking the Thanks Giving Challenge is one of those leadership moves that is relatively easy to do and highly likely to make a difference.

If you take it on, please share a story in the comments about how it’s going. What difference is it making to you and your organization? What was the most memorable thank you that you’ve ever received?