Being a leader is definitely a difficult task. But it is an impossible task if no one is following you. Leaders are leaders only because someone chooses to follow them. When this is the reality through which you perceive your ministry, chances are you won’t go too long without thanking those who follow you and chose to recognize you as a leader.
One of the habits, I am working to develop in my ministry is to always thank the people around me. Here’s a few reasons why gratitude is a very necessary discipline to cultivate.
1. Because it’s not just you doing the work.
I lead a very talented kidmin staff as well as oversee over a hundred volunteers on a given weekend. I can’t do what I do without them. In fact, they carry out the vision and make strategies work. Like a game of tug-of-war, the team corporately carries more of the load than I could ever as a single leader.
2. Because it is a well-deserved, pleasant surprise.
Most of the time, the person you are thanking–whether they are a volunteer or paid staff member–will not expect it. Chances are, at the end of a long day of giving it their all, they haven’t had a single person genuinely thank them for the work they put in. Don’t believe me? How many people thanked you today?
3. Because It gives people value.
Thank you’s are rare, and thats what makes them special. Thanking someone for what they have given is a reward that is both free and freeing. It is free, in that it costs you nothing. It is freeing, in that it places value on what others have given.
4. It makes them want to give more.
I’ve never heard someone say, “I’m quitting this job, because everyone here thanks me too much!” No, but I’ve seen many people leave jobs deemed as “thankless.” In fact, most people rank working a ‘thankless job’ next to sainthood…and there are very few of those saints! When you thank people, it makes them want to give more. Andy Stanley puts it this way: “Gratitude breeds generosity.”
Rookie, always thank those around you. Don’t just use words. Write notes/emails, buy gifts, post tweets, recognize publicly, etc. Be specific. Be genuine. Be concise.
What are ways that you like to thank people? (Notes, types of gifts, etc.) Feel free to give examples.