LEADERS GIVE 2022-12-26T00:07:41-05:00


I hope all who celebrate them enjoy a Happy Hannukah and a very Merry Christmas. I realize many of you are on vacation and will not read this edition of my weekly newsletter for a little while. Nevertheless, I wanted to send this newsletter because I have chosen to include a holiday theme – Leaders Give.

For many years, I enjoyed giving holiday gifts to each member of my team at Georgetown Law Continuing Legal Education. One year I gave the book “The Go-Giver” to all my colleagues. Why? I loved that book and the fable it told. Then my son Jared asked, “Dad, why did you give that book to everyone? Do you know for sure that everybody on your team likes to read? And for those who do, do you know that they like this kind of book?”

I had to admit that I did not know if every team member liked reading much less liked reading this kind of book. From then on, I made sure to purchase personalized gifts for each of my teammates.

As I think about the tradition of managers, leaders and companies giving gifts to their people, I smile. Virtually everyone enjoys receiving gifts. If you have read the book “The Seven Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace,” you know that employees have different preferences for how they like to be acknowledged.

Some like personal time with their manager, others prefer time off, others desire tangible gifts, some derive meaning from raises or bonuses, others look for promotions, and some prefer oral public acknowledgement or hand-written notes. Of course many look for a combination of these appreciative gestures.

Do you know the appreciation preferences of each of your direct reports? If not, please find out. Then keep a record you can go back to in the future.

Giving gifts and other forms of appreciation at the holidays is only one kind of leadership giving. As leaders, we are called upon to give of ourselves to all our teammates every day of the year. What can we give to our colleagues?

-Our energy
-Our effort
-Our knowledge and wisdom
-Our curiosity
-Our assistance
-Our compassion and empathy
-Our understanding
-Our listening skill
-Our belief in their potential
-Our willingness to provide second chances

Most of all, we can give our teammates our love and respect. That is what all people truly desire. Every teammate wants to be valued as a contributor, as a meaningful part of the whole, and as someone who is truly seen and appreciated.

So as you enjoy the holidays, please think about how you can give and keep giving to your teammates in 2023. Giving of yourself will help you show up as a more effective leader.

Your teammates will notice. I promise!