The Power of “Thank You”

A genuine “thank you” is all too rare — and shouldn’t be.

In the November 2010 issue of Fast Company, Nancy Lublin reminds us that appreciation and gratitude should be part of daily life. In “Thank You” Goes A Long Way, the CEO of Do Something notes that we often ignore the people who help us every day. We fail to see them and appreciate them — much less thank them.

Expressing appreciation is a powerful leadership skill, too, according to John Ryan, president and CEO of the Center for Creative Leadership. In a recent BusinessWeek column — Four Ideas for a Positive Workforce — he wrote:

“Many years ago, I was a junior U.S. Navy pilot in the Mediterranean, serving on our newest nuclear aircraft carrier with the most modern aircraft in the U.S. Navy. The other aircraft carrier in the same area was our oldest conventional carrier with our oldest aircraft. But it outperformed ours in almost every way. We had a technically competent captain who was not a good communicator and rarely offered a compliment. When I visited the older carrier for a few days, it was immediately obvious that the captain there was a great communicator.

“Several times a day he used the ship’s speaker system to tell the entire 5,000-member crew what specifically they were doing well, often recognizing teams and individuals. The entire ship hummed with energy and high performance.

“What kinds of captains are we in our own organizations?”

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