I recently received this note sent to my leaders – unprompted, unsolicited.  Highlight of my year.  A few words that I will never forget for the rest of my life.

By way of intro, I lead our global partnerships with [redacted company names]. I wanted to proactively reach out to you and share some thoughts on the immense impact that Masa Gong has had on my team and the $1.5 billion of business for which we are responsible.  Masa led a crucial team facilitation from end-to-end.  Our team had been struggling… morale were down, and top talent on our team were leaving.  Masa’s leadership and vision brought balance to our team.  Her engagement with each of our [employees] helped identify the key issues at hand and she helped find ways for us to collectively work towards solutions.  Masa was able to give constructive and honest feedback, holding each of us accountable.  She was able to have the conversations and recommend the changes that were needed.  If it wasn’t for Masa, I really don’t think that our team would be in the place we are now: inspired, trusting, envisioning, and working towards transformation in ourselves and our clients.  It’s hard for one person to capture the far reaching impact that Masa has had but I wanted to share it with you all to the extent that I’m able.  

We need more leaders like Masa, especially as we evolve to the next phase of who we are becoming as a company.  

Director at Google

Are you recognizing great work? Giving thanks and showing gratitude not only benefits the receiver but research shows it benefits the giver too. Acts of grace and thanks should be the daily staples of our lives, and not only because it is the right way to live but because it is only good science and good leadership.The brain is made up of 80 billion neurons, and a ratio of 5:1 are devoted to threat protection/survival versus reward and pleasure. 5:1!  Mother nature and evolution is a beautiful thing and I thank god for these odds when the angry bear comes at me, but what does it mean for the office?It means that leaders have to work 5 times as hard to build trust, show appreciation and reward to offset the ease with which workers (their brains really) see them as threats.So send a thank you note.  Give a reward.  Say a few words of encouragement and positivity.  The dividends will matter. Build up a 5x size bank of trust, and the hard feedback will be easier to take.  Trust the brain.