John Maxwell says ‘Everything rises and falls on leadership’ and I am in no doubt that this is true. I know lots of wonderful people who at the moment are not fulfilling their leadership potential, maybe they never will.

Anyway, here is another great test for any leader. The ability to show appreciation.

Leaders expect, don’t we? We expect full on, 100% from our teams, and if possible, a little bit more. We want blood really. After all, you have vision, an end goal in mind and to reach it you need everybody on the team giving it everything they have got in the capacity that they are on the team for. As a leader we do all we can to help them understand the ‘why’ element of the ‘what must be done’ part.

We should be instructing, encouraging, correcting, advising, guiding, leading, making decisions, changing stuff if necessary and my guess is we probably do all that without even trying. Some of us are better at some parts than others.

So…my question for all you great leaders.

Why do you find it so hard to say thanks?

You would tell them its wrong quickly enough, you point out where things need to improve without any hesitation – but where is the thanks, the show of appreciation, the pat on the back, the thumbs up, sign of approval for a job well done?

Maybe its a cultural thing. Perhaps we Brits have become too much ‘expectation’ and too little ‘appreciation’.

It is said that one of the main reasons people leave teams is a lack of appreciation, especially teams of volunteers. So here is the thought – shouldn’t we be making an extra effort to make sure our teams know how thankful we are for their part in the process.

When was the last time your boss said thanks?
When was the last time your boss said thanks to you?
Can you become a great leader without passing this particular test?

Take a moment and think about how appreciation makes you feel ……..[pause]…….exactly. It doesn’t take much really but it certainly goes along way.

Would love your thoughts on this subject as we unpack it a little bit more of the next few posts.

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