“A word of encouragement from a teacher to a child can change a life. A word of encouragement from a spouse can save a marriage. A word of encouragement from a leader can inspire a person to reach her potential.”
John C. Maxwell
Sometimes it is the simplest things at just the right moments that make all the difference in the world. I still have a handwritten note that I received over 20 years ago from the SVP who was responsible for the division I worked in. The fact that he took the time to notice and acknowledge me made all the difference in the world to a very green and naive leader who was learning what real leadership was all about. That note has stayed with me for many moves and transitions and is one that I treasure not for what it says but for what it represents. True appreciation and encouragement from one human being to another expressed in a manner that was genuine and humble. That one simple thing has had a profound impact on me and my life.
I am sure that all of us have those great “encouragement moments” that created a marked impact on our lives. But what if they weren’t there? What if instead of encouragement we had received negative reinforcement or worst yet, nothing at all? The world would be a very different place.
We are all going to fail multiple times in our lives. Heck, we are going to fail daily if we are truly trying hard enough. Sometimes all we need is one person who recognizes not who we are today, but who we have to potential to become and helps us to see that potential. That is what I received 20+ years ago via a simple handwritten note.