It’s always important to hold an attitude of gratitude, but it’s particularly relevant around the holidays when we should stand back and count our blessings. As we approach the new year, I’d like to thank all my clients whom I’ve helped achieve their goals; and, I never forget that each and every one of them has taught me something along the way as well. And for that, I also say, “Thanks!”
What happens when Gratitude is missing?
Here’s a story of a team that I worked with wherein appreciation and gratitude were not the watch words, and what happened as a result.
While working on a particular assignment, I was asked to work beyond my normal duties as a project manager. When the PR person left the team, I was asked to take over the job of creating and getting the monthly newsletter out until the replacement was found. Although my official manager objected, I agreed to help my matrix manager in this temporary situation. It was a favor, he said, as he called me “a good writer” even though he knew quite well that this task was out of the range of my duties.
Unfortunately, the prior PR person left in a huff with no processes or procedures in place to guide me in this new activity so I reached out to those that had pieces of the puzzle and to the team to write the articles that would be part of the organizational newsletter. It all had to be coordinated and required some late nights since I still had my standard consulting duties to perform as well. When “we” pulled it off and the newsletter went out on time, I was very happy. I said, “yeah!” Just a little “Yeah”, not loud. About an hour later we had a meeting and this manager, rather than acknowledge the good work or the extra effort that not only what I had done, but the team accomplished in getting the newsletter out, he said
“There will be no end zone dances here!” I was shocked, to say the least and it was on my face.
Later, I sent a thank-you note to the team expressing my gratitude for their support to me, for without it the job would have been impossible.
Here is the result:
This manager got angry. He wrote me up for “boasting”. There was no “thanks” for the extra work and he didn’t want anyone else getting any thanks or credit either. In his view, apparently, if one chooses to do the extra work, well, that’s all it is and one shouldn’t be thanked for it.
What’s the probability that someone will do extra assignments for this manager again? Certainly not me! I learned a lesson on that one. If someone is not appreciative they won’t get midnight oil burned from me.
Teams need to have gratitude and appreciation and they need to celebrate their successes in order to continue performing.
In all my many years as a program and project manager, I supported my teams in every way possible, and, as a result, when the time came to push for deadlines, they always came through. Then, I gave them praise, gratitude, appreciation and whatever physical manifestations to prove it as I could from my grade level. This attitude of gratitude has served me well in my professional career. I never lost a project. The same concepts can be applied to any business environment.
So to all my clients, I do thank you for your belief in me and I look forward to serving you in the future. Happy Holidays to all!