A FREE Gift that Lasts Forever!

Accountability Gratitude


Key Point: Each one of us has the “funds” to give the very best gift of all. It takes a little thought and care, but it is everlasting. So, what is it?

This week I met with middle school (junior high) students I taught more than 40 years ago and we reminisced on the “magical” culture the students and faculty built. 

We shared stories and the positive influences we have had on each other’s lives. Coincidently that same evening, I spent time catching up with a person I’ve known and worked with for more than 20 years. We talked about family, friends and business strategy. We also thanked each other for the positive influences we’ve had on one another.

For most of my work life I’ve sent DWD (Darn Well Done) messages to people I’ve worked with, thanking them with specificity for their contribution. I am dumbfounded by the number of times people have positively referred to that DWD I sent them, (often, many years after the incident).

Back to my students from 40 years ago… Some of them were in the gymnasium the last day of school, June 1975, and my final day at St. Nicks. Those of you who have read my book The Character Triangle know the story… Several hundred kids stood on their chairs and cheered wildly for what seemed like eternity, as a tribute to what WE collectively built. Now 40 plus years later, here were some of the “kids” who stood on those chairs, telling me and each other again how much caring for each other made an everlasting difference. The simple gift of an intentional “thank you” because we deeply care keeps on giving… And it appreciates over time.

Character Moves:

  1. This holiday season; connect with someone at work (past or present) who has made a positive difference to you. The free gift is to intentionally thank them in some way. If given sincerely, specifically with intent, it will never be repurposed or recycled by the receiver. In fact, I bet the receiver finds the gift priceless.
  2. One of the students I reconnected with remembers that she was one of the first of the kids to stand on a chair that June day in 1975. If she hadn’t, I likely would be without one of the most wonderful gifts in my life. If you think someone or some situation is worth it, don’t be hesitant to “stand on a chair” and cheer in some memorable way.
  3. The free gift I noted above, is telling someone with clear, direct, intent, that you appreciate the positive influence they have had on your life/work. You certainly don’t need to “stand on a chair.” Just stand up and tell them how much they mean to you. It is free, yet priceless and everlasting.

A priceless “thank you” in The Triangle,