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Leading Ideas: The Power of Acknowledgement

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” — Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) Medical missionary, Nobel Peace Prize winner

This week, I left a professional organization I’d been very involved with for 3 years. After my final meeting, several members thanked me for ways I had contributed to their lives. It felt good. It made me realize that caught up in my day-to-day business, I don’t acknowledge others’ contributions to my life enough. And they need to hear it.

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Something to consider:

Wherever you are, you didn’t get there alone. When you were lost, down, or out, someone sparked your thinking and helped show you the way. Take the time to thank these people. Oftentimes they don’t even know what they’ve done. When you let them know how they contributed to your life, you contribute to theirs.

Something to try:

1. Who has contributed to your life significantly in the past 5 years?
2. Send them a note or take them to lunch.
3. Let them know how they’ve helped you and why you appreciate them.
4. Recognize that you don’t have to wait until something is over to thank someone.

Question: How do you acknowledge others?

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