The Feeling of Gratitude


AUTHOR'S NOTE:  I shared the below note with my staff shortly before Thanksgiving -- during what had been a particularly busy and stressful time for the agency.  I have redacted the client names for privacy - but thought the sentiment was worth sharing.  

And as a very important postscript, it is important to know the feedback I received from people sharing their gratitude was amazing.  Truly one of the highlights of my career.  

As always, I have removed proprietary information.

Here it is:  

Happy Thanksgiving Colleagues! 

In the last couple of days as I was reading my email I have been overcome by a feeling I must confess I haven’t been feeling much lately after reading email.   

That feeling was gratitude.  Yes gratitude. 

Gratitude came over me in a big wave because my inbox was full of good news. And who among us doesn’t like to receive good news?   I make it a habit to try and stop and really be aware when I have opportunities to experience that incredible emotion.  And for the last couple of days grateful is the very best word to describe what I was feeling. 

Why is the word grateful and not happy?  Because, believe me, although happy is appropriate too, I know exactly why I am getting good news.  Your ability to deliver good news to my Outlook inbox is not coming without effort. Significant effort.  I know, see and feel the reality that as we work to finish the year strong, many of you are working really, really (really!) hard. And are more than likely exhausted.

And I am grateful -- there is that word again.  Especially at Thanksgiving grateful trumps happy every time!  

Here is what I’ve read about lately that reminded me to be grateful: 

  • We had a fantastic tissue session with the [XXX] prospects
  • We sold a great new idea and a smart Olympics activation to [XXX].
  • We turned a quick turn assignment [ed. note – ridiculously so] from our [XXX] client into super smart and strategic insight and ideas. Over the weekend!
  • We had a strong pitch to [XXX's'] brand team
  • We are rockin’ and rollin’ on an end of the year opportunity from [XXX] allowing us to do some great work and deliver profit  in the critical year end period.
  • And speaking of critical year end revenue, we’ve sold BOTH [XXX] and [XXX] on incremental opportunities
  • We were front and center with our thought leadership at Social Media Week
  • Our new business pipeline continues to fill up (and you simply won’t say U.N.C.L.E) and we now have four new opportunities to go and WIN!

So – I send this message to simply say thank you – to let you know that I am grateful for you.  

And I send this Thanksgiving “On the Rocks” a little early because I want to encourage you to “Reply All” to this email (JUST THIS ONCE PLEASE) to ask you to participate in some “Gratitude Spamming.”  I’m sure there is some good news I missed in my list above.  As you think about your work here and your colleagues what are YOU grateful for?