A leadership development resource

from the Institute for Leadership Excellence & Development Inc.

Volume VII

Number 1

On the Horizon This Issue:

"Thank You" is for Wimps
Practical strategies to leverage the power of appreciation.

Any Conflict on Your Team?
Looking forward to some conflict today? We didn't think so.  Learn how our e-learning workshop prepares you and your team for the inevitable conflict coming your way.

Company meeting coming up? Check out our popular keynote offerings that will move your organization to action!

New book by Andy Kaufman
Did you read or hear about Rhonda Byrne's best-seller The Secret? Wonder if the "Law of Attraction" is true? How do you know if it is or isn't? Click here to check out Andy's new book Shining the Light on The Secret.



  [Thank You]  [Conflict eLearning]  [Keynotes]  [The Institute Online] 


"Thank You" is for Wimps

by Andy Kaufman


Words: 947

Estimated reading time: 3.5 - 4.5 minutes

This was the most surreal e-mail exchange with a business leader in years. In a previous message I had served up to Don (not his real name), the top executive of a US-based organization, the importance of expressing appreciation to people such as employees and clients. I mentioned my practice of sending actual cards to people instead of e-mails or e-cards.

Don was trying to convince me it wasn’t important to say the words “Thank you” and that doing so, especially in writing, was a waste of time, much like “holding hands and singing.”

It’s as if he was saying, “’Thank you’ is for wimps.”

"Compensation is a right; recognition is a gift."

Rosabeth Moss Kanter

I seriously thought Don was kidding. But a couple e-mails later his position was clear: People don’t need a boss telling them "Thank you." Rather, "results speak for themselves."

Leadership development and project management keynotes and trainingRallying the Troops

A couple years back I gave a keynote at a national sales meeting. I like to spend time with companies I speak at so I hung out for the rest of the afternoon. The discussion eventually turned to the new compensation plan, and it was evident the sales team wasn’t happy.

The Senior VP of Sales was clearly getting irritable as well. When he couldn’t take it anymore he blurted out, "You guys are lucky to have a job! If you don’t like it, you can go elsewhere!"

That’ll rally the troops, eh?

Now it could just be that these people are two exceptions in the vast world of business that is otherwise showing all the love necessary.

But I’m not so sure.

I have the privilege of intersecting with hundreds of companies all over the globe and, though these two people may hold down an extreme end of the appreciation spectrum, most of us could do a better job of leveraging the power of well delivered gratitude.

Does showing appreciation really matter? Isn’t “pay” or “having a job” enough to keep people motivated?

What Really Matters

A series of studies starting back in the late 1940s show results that have remained similar into our information age. Managers think good wages, job security, and promotion and growth are the top motivators for their employees. But employees reported that, though those things mattered at some point, even greater importance was put on full appreciation for work done and feeling in on things.

As management guru Rosabeth Moss Kanter said, “Compensation is a right; recognition is a gift" and these studies show too many of us don't understand the distinctions.

Taking Action

Assuming you’re reasonably bought into the why of expressing true appreciation to the people around you, how about some practical coaching on the how?

Start with yourself. A great way to express more appreciation is to start being more thankful yourself. Check out a story on our blog about a recent flight back to Chicago. The bottom-line is it’s often easy to find things to complain about. Force yourself to find that which you can be thankful for. It’s all around if we take the time to look.

Be the person who remembers. Do you know the birthdates of people on your staff, close colleagues, and important customers? Do you know the names of their spouse and kids, if applicable? One of the dirty little secrets of business is that most of it comes down to relationships.

“But Andy, I have a lousy memory!”

It’s never been easier to remember this information. In our Beyond Time Management audio CD I provide practical ways to easily recall information about people you want to remember. Recognizing people on their special days, and learning more about them as a person, are easy ways to help people feel more appreciated.

Send cards. E-mail and e-cards are e-clutter. I’m talking real cards. But taking the time to write out cards remains a time challenge.

Until now.

I send on average 2-3 cards every day by using an online system that allows me to share a lot of appreciation in only minutes.

Check this out: I pick out a card online (or upload a picture and use that as the cover). Then I type in what I want on the inside

Then the cool part starts: they print out the card using my handwriting as the font. They stuff it, stamp it, and send it for me. Even cooler: the cards are less than USD 1.00, plus postage.

I can’t tell you how much getting a physical card has helped people feel appreciated. Many people tell me they put the cards up in their work area or at home. How often does that happen with e-mail?

You can try Send Out Cards yourself for free. Click here to access the site and then click on the banner with the moving arrow. This is an easy way to be known as “The Person Who Remembers!”

Start Now

It's easy to write this off as "I know, I know… Be appreciative. I learned this long ago." You may speak enough "Thank You's" to feel you're safe here.

But after working with thousands of leaders in hundreds of companies over the years, I confidently suggest that you can improve your overall ability to lead people and projects by intentionally becoming more appreciative yourself, by becoming the person who remembers, and by sending actual cards on a regular basis.

"Thank You" is not for wimps but for those who desire to lead people who willingly follow.

Click here to visit our blog for stories and resources to help you implement these ideas.

elearning (e-learning) to help you manage conflict from keynote speaker Andy KaufmanTo your success,

keynote speaker Andy Kaufman

Andy Kaufman

Speaker, Author, Consultant

President, Institute for Leadership Excellence & Development Inc.

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Any Conflict on Your Team?

Looking forward to some conflict today? We didn’t think so. Yet you and those you work with can pretty much count on conflict showing up.

Our eLearning (e-learning) workshop on managing conflict from keynote speaker Andy KaufmanRecent studies find that more than two-thirds of managers spend more than 10 percent of their time handling workplace conflict. If that number doesn’t grab you, how about this one: 44 percent of managers spend more than 20 percent of their time in conflict-related issues. That’s more than a day per week wrestling with conflict for nearly half the managers today.

How prepared are you for the conflict you’ll face today?

Our new e-learning workshop arms you with practical insights to help you more effectively navigate conflict.

By the end of the workshop, you’ll be able to:

  • Describe more accurately what conflict is

  • Name the five conflict handling modes

  • Describe situations where each conflict handling mode applies

  • Identify skills that are important to develop to effectively use each conflict handling mode

  • Plan how to manage a conflict situation using the "DISARM" process

  • Identify the difference between positional and personal power, and how they relate to managing conflict

  • Describe pitfalls that can occur during conflict situations, and strategies to deal with them

  • Explain what collateral conflict is and how to deal with

  • Qualify for 3 additional contact hours for project managers pursuing their Project Management Institute (PMI®) Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification or continuing education.

Get a site license for your organization for the price of one in-house workshop! Click here to learn more.

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Keynotes from the Institute

Do you have an upcoming...

  • elearning (e-learning) to help you manage conflict from keynote speaker Andy KaufmanOffsite meeting
  • Leadership retreat
  • National sales meeting
  • Association meeting

... and need a fresh voice to challenge and motivate your teams? 

Contact the Institute today to learn how our keynotes can provide what one executive called "the perfect exclamation point on our national sales meeting!"

Our most popular keynotes include:

Our keynotes are customized to your specific needs.  Your organization will receive practical insights that help you achieve results.  And you'll have a lot of fun.

Click here to find a complete listing of our offerings. 

Click here to contact Andy Kaufman to see how the Institute can make your gathering a tremendous success!

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Stay in Touch!

Horizon Time is written by Andy Kaufman and is available via e-mail or on the Web for all who register.  You are invited to forward this to anyone interested in growing their leadership skills!


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