Make Your “Thank You’s” Count

| | General Leadership

Thank you for all you do. Thank you for all of your hard work throughout the year.  Thank you for…

These the are the kinds of things we say to the people who work for us and with us.  And when the sentiment behind the words is sincere, it truly matters that we say these things.  It means something that we take the time to both publicly and privately appreciate the people who work for and with us even when it is expected at this time of year.

Of course there are some leaders who are more eloquent than others, who know how and when to say just the right thing, or who easily speak from their heart in a way that touches people.  Regardless of your skill or comfort with words or delivery there is something all of us can do to make our appreciation of others really hit home.  And that something is to be specific.

General kinds of appreciation are good.  Specific acknowledgments are even better.

Why?  Because it tells people you are really paying attention…to them.

Here are some ideas…

  • This is what you did that really mattered to me, to our company, to our customers…and give examples.
  • Look at what we accomplished this year.  We could not have done it without you…and here is what you did or provided or how you approached things that made THE difference.
  • Share a memorable story that demonstrates who they are and what they do or did that you appreciate.

People want to know that they matter.  So take this opportunity to make your “thank you’s” really count!

Can you think of a “thank you” that stayed with you long after the message was delivered?  What made the difference for you?


Enter A Comment

Gwyn Teatro   |   17 December 2009   |   Reply

I loved this! Being really specific about WHY you are saying “thank you” kicks the gift of acknowledgement up to dizzying heights! It lasts a long time and spurs people on to do more, with pleasure and confidence.
A great reminder!

Mike Henry   |   17 December 2009   |   Reply

So I can’t just say “Thanks for the great post.” Uhhh, Ok. Thanks for the great, uh, blog.

Really, as one of the first “leadership” folks I “met” online this year, thanks for helping me start blogging and get connected with so many people on Twitter and LinkedIn. I appreciate your passion for quality leadership and for our mutual desire to make a difference or stay home. I can’t wait to meet you at LeaderPalooza 2010!


Susan Mazza   |   18 December 2009   |  

Thank you Mike. I admire how you have become a leader of leaders – you have created an incredible community through your efforts on building the Lead Change Linked In group. You have also been a tremendous support to me as well. Looking forward to meeting you in person in Feb 2010.

Susan Mazza   |   18 December 2009   |   Reply

The WHY really does “kick it up” as you say. I have so appreciated the way you think, the way you write and the things you get me to think about. It has been great fun engaging with you via twitter and our blogs. I have learned much from you!

Thomas Waterhouse   |   18 December 2009   |   Reply

I can share a “Thank you” that will stay with me forever… “You make a difference because you really care. Thank you!” That rings in my ears as a legacy, and as an encouragement to keep my soul oriented towards love. It really makes a difference when we experience the heart of another, and then give thanks for what we see there. An intimate “Thank you” is the best!

Susan Mazza   |   18 December 2009   |   Reply

What a great example. Whoever said that to you chose words that clearly had deep meaning for you. Isn’t it amazing how in a moment someone’s words can take us from being appreciated for what we did to that deeper level of feeling known for who we are.

Thanks for sharing it with us Thomas!

Gwyn Teatro   |   18 December 2009   |   Reply

I have just thought of a “thank you” that will indeed stay will me for a long time. A former client recently got in touch with me. It has been many years since we connected. She sent me a message to let me know that she is enjoying her life and relishing all the new things that have become part of it since we last talked. And then she said, “know that you have made a significant difference in my life”
That “thank you” will stay with me for a long long time.

Susan Mazza   |   18 December 2009   |   Reply

Wow. Thanks very much for coming back to share this memorable thank you. What a wonderful tribute to who you are. How potent a simple phrase can be especially when delivered in a context of “all these years later the difference you made stays with me”.

Wally Bock   |   23 December 2009   |  

Congratulations! This post was selected as one of the five best independent business blog posts of the week in my Three Star Leadership Midweek Review of the Business Blogs.


Wally Bock

Tanveer Naseer   |   18 December 2009   |   Reply


This is a wonderful piece and a great reminder for everyone about the power behind simple gestures. We tend to take for granted that saying “Thank you” is a given, and thus no big deal. The fact that others are commenting about how they remember this certain thank you said months or years ago – on account of the fact that the person saying it wasn’t being cursory, but really offering input on what really made a difference to them – is proof that taking the time to thank someone genuinely for their efforts will not only leave a lasting impression, it’ll also have a lasting effect.

Great piece, Susan. Very timely and timeless at the same time.

Jennifer V. Miller   |   19 December 2009   |   Reply


Thanks for being my private Mastermind Group. I can count on you to see things from a totally different perspective. You offer insight and advice that stretches one’s possibilities, yet still manages to remain practical.

Derek Irvine, Globoforce   |   24 December 2009   |   Reply

And THANK YOU for reiterating the importance of this point. As you say, specific, actionable and authentic praise and appreciation is so much more powerful than a simple and offhand, “thanks.” I wrote more on each of these points here: http://globoforce.blogspot.com/2009/11/specific-actionable-and-authentic.html

Susan Mazza   |   07 January 2010   |   Reply

Appreciate the link – “specific, actionable and authentic” is a great summation.

  • Three Star Leadership Blog 23 December 2009, 23 December 2009

    12/23/09: Midweek Look at the Independent Business Blogs…

    Every week I select five excellent posts from this week’s independent business blogs. This week, I’m pointing you to posts on assessing leadership potential, cultivating talent, cultures of failure, how compensation is changing, and saying “Thank yo…