Expressing Appreciation

Yesterday during the football game, I had a conversation with a friend of mine who also happens to be a mentor to me.  She was reliving some stories of past positions she has held.  A remark she shared made me smile and will stick with me.  She referenced that people like to be told ‘thank-you’ and feel appreciated.  It’s such a simple gesture but yet can make a huge difference.  I was reassured in that moment that I’m not the only one who still gets a good feeling when I hear those simple words.  Whether you did a small favor or played a key role in a project someone was leading, it is still nice to be told that someone is grateful for helping them. 

Lesson in leadership

Last week I attended an invigorating event where the keynote speaker was John Maxwell. It was put on by Journey Church of Norman and NormanNEXT, the latter of which I’m a member.  I really enjoyed it far more than I thought I would.  To be honest, I only knew a little about John Maxwell before the event.  I am on the Special Events Committee for NormanNEXT so I had a role at the beginning-helping at the Will Call booths.  It was a great spot to be as I got to see everyone come into the church.  A lot of attendees were from OU so I spotted them easily.  After most of the crowd was seated, the volunteers got the go-ahead to grab a plate of food and find a seat.  First up for the guests were Mayor Mick Cornett and former First Lady of Oklahoma, Kim Henry.  Granted, I am still learning about the state I now call home, but I have heard nothing but good things about the mayor of Oklahoma City, Mick Cornett.  He’s a very dynamic, energetic individual that has the city’s interests at heart.  When he had his turn, he referenced when he first thought about entering the race for mayor.  It was neat to hear him talk about how he realized that he needed to start dressing like a mayor (as in little things like wearing a suit and tie).  He also didn’t think his front yard looked like it was where the mayor lived….so he took more pride in it.  I enjoyed hearing that an made me think about my professional goals.  Do I look the part?  Do I act like what I want to be?  Would someone take me seriously?  If the answer is no to any of those questions, I need to figure out how to tweak what I’m doing, how I’m appearing.

Sitting in the chair next to Mayor Cornett was Kim Henry.  I have met her before at football games but not sure if she would know my name.   But, that’s not important.  I related to what Kim had to say in that she is more the type who likes to stay in the background, out of the limelight and work to get things done.  She’s better in small groups vs. large crowds.  She’s very down-to-earth and I appreciate that quality in people.

After a small break was the guest of honor, John Mawell.  I won’t share every detail of his speech…mainly because there were so many good things he said, I can’t remember them all. But, toward the end, I did start to jot down some notes.  He stressed to be successful, you have to:

  • Know your purpose…to have a purpose means you are anchored.  Ask yourself these questions: What is my passion? What are my strengths?  When you answer those, you have your purpose.
  • Reach your maximum potential.  Grow to be the best.  “Growth isn’t an automatic process,” Maxwell stated.  Stretch out of your comfort zone (this took me a while to be okay with this but I’m getting better each day with it).
  • Sow seeds that have value and give value to others.  Ask yourself this: How will I add value to people?

Maxwell also listed some qualities that help make a person successful.  They include:

  • Be good with relationships
  • Be mindful of your attitude-how do you see life?
  • Be aware of how people see you….are you a plus or minus in their life?  Do you bring them down or lift them up?
  • Be able to equip and train others well.
  • Know how to influence and lead others.

Clearly I walked away with a new perspective on leadership.  I am very glad I went and had the opportunity to hear him speak.  If I am fortunate to be in a leadership position one day, I hope I can exhibit those qualities to the best of my ability and be able to influence others just as John Maxwell has influenced me.

I’ll encourage you what he encouraged all of us: Be A Positive!