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Making People Feel Special

Do you make people feel special? Your employees? Your family? Your friends? Leaders do!

Last week my daughter’s boyfriend surprised her. They live in the Tampa area, but he scheduled a trip to Dallas months ago to see one of her favorite bands Saturday night. Jae and Jeff are both in their 40s, but Jeff knows Jae lives life to the fullest. She has her own company in the medical field and he told her to not be on call this weekend. Part of Jeff’s surprise was having them drive to our house on Thursday night when they got in and spend the weekend with us, as well as going to the concert.

It was an amazing weekend. For those of you who have adult children you know what I mean. It is always great to spend time with them. Jae knows many of our friends and has done a mission trip with, and even vacationed with many of the people she saw over the weekend.

Sunday morning my vice president and I took an early morning flight to attend one of Glass Doctor employee’s mom’s funerals. When we arrived at the visitation on Sunday afternoon our employee was so surprised.  As we met the members of his family, as well as his father, they understood how much we value and appreciate this employee. His mom died unexpectantly, and his parents were married 59 years and he told us about the magic of their marriage–a marriage we all want.

One of the most touching stories I learned was about the lady who passed away. Although her death was sudden and unexpected, over the years she had written a letter to all of her children expressing her thoughts and love for them. Wow. There is a lesson we all need to do today!  She wrote one of those letters 13 years ago. Let’s not wait until we are on death’s door to express our love for our families.

Sunday night we drove to Cleveland for dinner with our Cleveland franchisee. Our franchisee hired his daughter seven years ago and she also joined us for dinner, and she has taken that franchise to new levels.  As leaders we need to understand the brilliance our kids have. In most cases they have watched, and now appreciate, the work ethic we exhibited. When they join us in our businesses they finally understand “why” we have done what we do, and they quickly learn when they, too, are part of our business.

Last year our franchisee nominated his technician for Glass Doctor’s Technician of the Year.  What he wrote about this person was heartwarming.  When I presented that award, I could see the appreciation that employee had for his employer.

Another lesson for leaders. Do our employees know how much we appreciate them?

A surprise for a loved one . . . letters from a mom to her children . . . a national award nomination.  Every week we see examples for us as leaders. We simply need to make sure we recognize the leadership lessons are there every day of our lives.

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