Jack Welch wrote them.  Mark Zuckerberg wrote one every day for 365 days in 2014. Doug Conant wrote 30,000 and set the standard (  Donna Hyland, Frank Blake, Dan Cathy (of course), Tom Peters, and many others write them.  Thank you notes.  Simple, thoughtful thank you notes.

Employees feel strongly about this simple act of gratitude.  According to a survey funded by the John Templeton Foundation, “90% of employees said a grateful boss was likely to be more successful.”  It feels good to be recognized.  It feels even better to be appreciated and valued.  Moreover, thank you notes can build trust and trust is an economic driver.  As Conant proved during his tenure with Campbell’s Soup, inspiring trust was the foundation of a successful 10 year turnaround.

Emails and text messages are impersonal, can be easily misinterpreted, and are easily disregarded.  But an envelope.  A nice paper envelope with personal stationary inside.  The handwriting, ink, and the time it takes to write something kind . . . it seems like those hardly exist any more.  Perhaps emojis have killed the need to write “Job well done.”

As we head toward Turkey-Geddon let’s remember that it doesn’t take a lot to put a smile on a person’s face, inspire a colleague, or thank a client.  Paper, pen, a few quiet minutes to compose a sincere note.  In the middle of all the impersonal communications a thank you note creates a uniquely personal connection.

From my family to yours, have a great Thanksgiving,


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