The Incredible Power of Giving to Others

Kim Hawk valued others over herself in tangible ways. When she turned 16 and her parents, Dean and Mary Hawk, gave her a birthday party at a local restaurant, more than 100 people came to honor her. Even though the invitation said not to bring presents, many brought gifts anyway.

Kimmy’s reaction to the presents was interesting, and a great lesson for leaders. She was sad that she was the only one who got to take something home from the party. From that time forward, whenever there was a party for her, she insisted on going to a discount store to buy something for each person who would be there because she didn’t want them to leave empty-handed.

Genuine concern for others is the cornerstone of great leadership.

As we approach a national day of Thanksgiving, here are some thank you gifts you can give to your team. They won’t cost you much, but they’ll make a huge difference in your organization.

Say Thank You in Person

Your team members make a sacrifice to work for you—because each of them could probably earn more elsewhere. Show that you appreciate their contribution by saying “Thank you!” in person this week.

Listen from the Heart

The gift of your direct attention is worth more than you know. You’re busy every day, and your team knows that. So when you take a few minutes to sit down, close the laptop, look a teammate in the eye and listen from the heart, you’re saying “I appreciate you” louder than any words could say.

Share What You Receive

As the leader, you’re in a position to receive things your team never will—knowledge, opportunities, perks, contacts. Share the wealth. Pass along the good things, sometimes intangible, that come your way. It really is better to give than to receive.

Give a Small Gift

Kim Hawk was on the right track by shopping at a discount store for inexpensive gifts. That allowed her to give something of value, however small, to each person. You can do the same with your team. For five dollars (or less), you can give a gift that’s worth a million bucks—the knowledge that you care.

And while we’re at it, thank you for reading this blog and sharing your thoughts on Facebook and Twitter. I appreciate the good work you are doing in your organization, and I’m happy to be part of your team!

Happy Thanksgiving—