Discussing appreciating volunteers is like discussing spiritual growth. Yes, I can say I am growing spiritually, but of course there is room for improvement. To be effective in your appreciate of others you need to be a lifetime learner of people and processes. Lance Howerton is one leader I try to follow in his ability to show appreciation to others. One of the first lessons Lance taught me was a quote from Howard Schwartz, owner of Starbucks, “catch someone doing something right.” This resonated with me and has sent me on a journey to learn more about appreciating others. Below are some of the thoughts I have considered.
Here are some thoughts from How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie.
- “The expression one wears on one’s face is far more important than the clothes one wears on one’s back.” Simply said, just smile. Often times we get involved in elaborate schemes to demonstrate our appreciate of folks, which is perfectly fine. However we should never compromise a friendly demeanor.
- “Firestone said, ‘I have never found that pay and pay alone would either bring together or hold good people. I think it was the game itself.” Here Carnegie is speaking of giving your volunteers a challenge. You show you value them by raising your expectations and demonstrating your trust in them.
- “Be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise” Going overboard with your appreciation does not fit in a box. It doesn’t require gifts or long letters, but it is important to communicate your appreciation with no corners cut.
Lance pointed me to Lee Cockerell’s book, Creating Magic. What amazing about Cockerell’s his book is strategic to grow Disney was to show appreciation to his partners, or in Disney’s language his cast members. Chapter 5 of Creating Magic is about making people your brand. I encourage you to read this book for a fresh and inspiring philosophy on adding value to others.
If you are looking to have specific action steps and need some help with thoughts on how to implement a plan. Check out this blog post on 10 ways to appreciate your volunteers and 3 ways to make your volunteers feel like a million bucks. When reflecting on my leadership journey I always want to evaluate how I show my appreciate to others. I hope you take a moment this day or week to see where you can grow in this area of your leadership.