Expressing Appreciation

Express Appreciation


Your clients, employees, boss, children, spouse, parents….. (I can go on and on here) All have one thing in common – each is hungry for sincere appreciation. Most feel that others do not recognize or appreciate their true worth. Praise and appreciation can work wonders in building long lasting, viable relationships.


Here’s an interesting illustration: In the fall of 1860, the steamship “Lady Elgin” set out with a total of 393 passengers and crew members, to make the trip from Chicago to Milwaukee. Just off the shore of Evanston, she was rammed by a lumber schooner and sank. As a result, 279 of the passengers and crew members died. Of those who were saved, 17 of them were saved by a student at Northwestern University, Edward W. Spence. He made 16 trips in all from the shore to the sinking ship and back again, saving the 17 lives.


Because of physical exertion and the coldness of the water, Spence was in shock at the end of the 16th trip. It was reported that as they carried him to the hospital, he kept asking the question, “Did I do my best?” As a result of the incident, Edward Spence spent the remainder of his life as an invalid in a wheelchair.


Fifty years later, Northwestern granted him a Bachelor of Arts degree, not because he ever finished the class work – he didn’t. He was awarded the degree because they decided he deserved it. It was at that time the plaque commemorating his heroism was placed on the wall of the old Coast Guard Station at the southeast corner of the campus. It hangs there yet today.


When he was 80 years old, Edward Spence was interviewed by Chicago newspaper reporters. They asked him, “What is your most vivid memory of that tragic fall day when the “Lady Elgin” went down off the coast of Evanston?” Mr. Spence’s answer was, “The fact that not one of the 17 people whose lives I saved ever came back to say thank you — not one.”


Look for opportunities to express appreciation. People want recognition as individuals more than any other single thing — even those who never perform an act of heroism.

Small Talk

Several years ago I was in a Subway in Arizona. I was the only person in the store and so I waited for a “sandwich artist” to process my masterpiece. I glanced over the corner to the office of “artists” where I noticed a quote on the wall that has stuck with me since.

Small Minds Discuss People.

Average Minds Discuss Events.

Great Minds Discuss Ideas.     -Eleanor Roosevelt


That is powerful! Reflect on that, and what percent of your conversations are in each one of those categories.

Fortes Fortuna Iuvat – Fortune Favors The Bold

I love the quote “Fortune Favors the Bold”. Think about that. Are you bold, or do you only make safe moves?

Every day a few people are making bold moves and taking action to improve their lives. Whether you do or not doesn´t matter to those who do. They are going to do it, regardless. It is simply a matter of a decision being made. Let that person be you!

The world is built, families are strengthened, relationships nurtured by those who get out of their comfort zone and make things happen. These people are the doers! Anyone can have an idea. (Anyone who knows me, knows I have a ton.) But there is such a small number of people who act on their ideas. They are those who are bold in their actions and become the doers of the world.

It’s my goal to be more of a doer, and create action in every aspect of my life!

Formula for Positivity

Nothing has such a positive impact on a person as giving to others. The people who have a giving spirit are some of the most positive people that I know. That is because giving is the highest level of living. These people are the ones who focus their time and energy on what they can give to others rather than what they can get from them. The more a person worries about and gives of his/her time, tallent and all the he/she has been blessed with to others makes his/her attitude better because they love the life they are living.

A lot of successful people don’t understand this concept. They believe that how much people give and their attitude about it are based on how much “stuff” they have. This is not true. In a survey titled “Joys and Dilemma of Wealth” by Boston College, the wealthiest people are unhappy and worried about various things in their lives. They are worried about their friendships and that these relationships are contingent on, their wealth. They are worried about their children being ungrateful. They believe that they will only be secure when they have $1 billion in the bank. They feel they can’t share the problems they have in their lives.

I know many people who have very little but are tremendous givers. I also know people who have been blessed with money, good families, and wonderful careers who are stingy and suspicious of others. In, life it’s not what you have that makes a difference, it’s about what you do with what you have been given or blessed with. Once you truly feel this way and your actions align with your beliefs you will begin to feel good about what you are and your attitude will begin to shine. I think it’s interesting that if you want to improve one area of your life very rarely do you just focus on that area. But once you focus on others around you and give of yourself that is when you find what you were looking for.

So the formula on paper would look like:

Give of yourself +(not worrying about what you will give from it.) = Happiness (or Positivity)

I am always growing and constantly trying to improve. Let me know your thoughts below in the comments. (hint, this post is about giving, give it a try.)

Remove Limitations


The finer Japanese restaurants typically put multicolored fish in small ponds. They are like giant goldfish and are beautiful to watch. These colorful fish are referred to as “Japanese carp,” but are more properly known as koi.

The interesting thing about the koi is that if you keep it in a small fish bowl, it will grow to be two or three inches long, at most. However, when placed in a huge lake where it can really stretch out its territory, this unique fish will grow to more than three feet in length!

Discipline yourself to think big. Improve your performance. Remove any limitations you have placed on yourself that keep you from growing.

Servant Leadership

leadership Sign

To some people the very term “Servant Leadership” may seem like an oxymoron. However, it’s been making the rounds in many leadership training workshops in recent years.

Actually, the phrase “Servant Leadership” was coined over 40 years ago by Robert K. Greenleaf in an essay called The Servant as Leader. He wrote that such leaders make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. They see to it that those they serve grow as individuals; that they become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, and, as a result they are more likely themselves to become servants.

Rather than tyrannical, demanding bosses, they become mentors, guides and even cheerleaders of the accomplishments of those on their staff. This, in turn, creates a more harmonious workplace, happier employees and thus, more satisfied customers. It is what author Stephen Covey would call a “win-win” situation.

In fact, Covey is a proponent of “Servant Leadership.” He says it requires humility of character and core competency around a new skill set. To become servant leaders, Covey lists three steps that executives must take.

  1. Build relationships of trust.
  2. Set up win-win performance agreements.
  3. Be a source of help.

People want to hire people they trust to come into their homes for repair work and to support businesses that they believe will treat them fairly. Once these relationships have been established and nourished, people will come back again and again. They will tell others about you and your work.

Everyone wants to feel like their needs have been met. Win-win agreements represent an ongoing, mutually beneficial relationship between two or more people or organizations who work together. There is always a way to achieve this through open, two-way interaction, with each party seeking to find the optimum, mutual benefit.

Servant leaders can be a source of help to their employees by assisting them in meeting their goals, which in turn, is a positive benefit for all involved. According to Covey, a concerned leader needs to ask four questions during mutual accountability sessions:

  1. How’s it going? Or, what’s happening?
  2. What are you learning from this situation?
  3. What are your goals now?
  4. How can I help you?

It takes guts to practice this type of leadership, says Covey. Knowing that the boss has everyone’s best interest at heart empowers people. They become more productive and innovative. This type of environment invites cooperation and team-building.

In his book The Road Less Traveled, M. Scott Peck states,Servant Leadership is more than a concept. As far as I am concerned, it is a fact. I would simply define it by saying that any great leader, by which I also mean an ethical leader of any group, will see herself or himself primarily as a servant of that group and will act accordingly.

Because this leadership model is character based, those in positions of leadership will find they will achieve their best results if they strengthen their own character and lead by examples of humility, cooperation, encouragement and support. Being willing to put yourself in a position of servant leader will keep you more actively involved with your co-workers. As you strive to serve them and get to know them, your appreciation for them and their contributions will grow and together you and your company will accomplish great things.