What’s the value of a good night out?

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A glowing conversation is a great way to start the day

Last week I shared breakfast with a senior leader who reminded me how generosity can be the hallmark of good leadership.  8AM and she was glowing.

Do you know that special moment when our work becomes both personal and professional? It’s the rare, exciting feeling when we care so much about the outcome, and the people involved that the project becomes less about what we do…and more like who we are. Poker players call this full body and soul commitment “all in.”  Sometimes “all in” means early mornings and late nights, lots of travel…even working weekends.

My breakfast companion started our conversation by saying: “I just received an unusual phone call from my boss this morning.” Senior corporate leaders often find an “unusual phone call from my boss” to mean a U-turn on the Autobahn.  This call was a little different.  “He wanted to make sure I was going to be in my office today,” she continued.  “Not because anything was wrong…but because he wanted to give me a gift certificate for a nice dinner out — to show his appreciation for how hard I’ve been working on the corporate transformation.”

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Generosity: a family good night out, on a gift certificate from the boss

She was glowing.  Not from the gift certificate, but from the inherent sense of goodness in her leader.  Her “boss” knows family is important in her life — and he knows she’s been working sun up to sun down, demonstrating what it means to be “all in.”  His prompting gave her permission (and incentive) to make a family date night for a good night out.  We both could taste her gratitude in the croissants.

Who do you have in your line of influence who is routinely “all in?”  When was the last time you shared your appreciation and encouraged a good night out?  This link will make it easy for you to act on your good leader instincts: and buy a dinner gift certificate.

Good leaders know how simple gestures can go a long way in helping hard working people feel appreciated.  And how the glow of a good night out will multiply personally and professionally.

Drop me a note: what gesture of generosity has meant the most from your ‘boss?’  I’m looking forward to sharing your answers.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

2 Comments

  1. Patricia Nelson on June 12, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Answer 1:

    I had just started working at a school as a new member of an administrative team.  I was busy getting to know all the members of that team.
    One person, who was a Director, offered me a cup of hot chocolate. This was in May – but something told me to say yes.  And I did.  Our professional relationship worked from subordinate to peer in the space of two years, yet we continued having a cup of hot chocolate and to discuss issues that needed to be addressed.

    We have each since left the school; but recently met again for some…hot chocolate and discussion of life changes.

    The original hot chocolate that May afternoon was the best I have had before or since.  Why?  For me, it was offered from the place where compassion and sharing came from.

    Answer 2:

    I was an Office Manager for a charter school.  I have always had my own office, but there was no space in the current location to have one.  So I worked at the Front Desk.  The Assistant Principal (AP) saw what I was going through and said that by the Christmas holidays, that I would have an office.  I believed his sincerity, but absolutely did nor know how it would happen.   The Christmas holidays came – I came into school early.
    And there was my office.  The AP, on his own, moved the copy room somewhere else, found me a desk, chair, shelving, a computer – and all in a room with a window.  I was totally stunned – he was truly a man of his word.

    Not much later, he had an opportunity to move to another location and to gain a higher AP position in a high school.  He asked me if I would serve as a reference for him.  Of course, I would – and did.  I told the interviewer about what the AP had done for me.  A day later,  the AP told me he had gotten the job.  While I would definitely miss him, I was glad that I had served in a small way to “move him on up:.



  2. Patricia Nelson on June 12, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Answer 1:

    I had just started working at a school as a new member of an administrative team.  I was busy getting to know all the members of that team.
    One person, who was a Director, offered me a cup of hot chocolate. This was in May – but something told me to say yes.  And I did.  Our professional relationship worked from subordinate to peer in the space of two years, yet we continued having a cup of hot chocolate and to discuss issues that needed to be addressed.

    We have each since left the school; but recently met again for some…hot chocolate and discussion of life changes.

    The original hot chocolate that May afternoon was the best I have had before or since.  Why?  For me, it was offered from the place where compassion and sharing came from.

    Answer 2:

    I was an Office Manager for a charter school.  I have always had my own office, but there was no space in the current location to have one.  So I worked at the Front Desk.  The Assistant Principal (AP) saw what I was going through and said that by the Christmas holidays, that I would have an office.  I believed his sincerity, but absolutely did nor know how it would happen.   The Christmas holidays came – I came into school early.
    And there was my office.  The AP, on his own, moved the copy room somewhere else, found me a desk, chair, shelving, a computer – and all in a room with a window.  I was totally stunned – he was truly a man of his word.

    Not much later, he had an opportunity to move to another location and to gain a higher AP position in a high school.  He asked me if I would serve as a reference for him.  Of course, I would – and did.  I told the interviewer about what the AP had done for me.  A day later,  the AP told me he had gotten the job.  While I would definitely miss him, I was glad that I had served in a small way to “move him on up:.



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