“Great Job, Coco!” These were the words uttered by my soon-to-be 4-year-old granddaughter. I had the chance to spend most of Saturday alone with her, a rare occasion, but a welcome one for sure. We were drawing on a wall in my office – a wall that had been newly painted with whiteboard paint. I had it painted so I could craft my many business actions for the year, but I had not yet tested it.
Avery and I were using an assortment of colors, drawing playgrounds and people in beds, all kinds of animals, and then a huge Christmas tree. When the tree was finished with lights, bulbs, caterpillars, cats, raccoons and alligators, Avery asked me to put something on top because she could not reach it. I finished the tree with a huge butterfly at the point. And that is when Avery said, “Great job, Coco!”
Somehow, hearing those words come out of this child’s mouth had an extra special meaning. But, it also caused me to reflect how little we sometimes take a moment to “send compliments up” to those leaders who are above us. They may be respected and admired, and yet, sometimes they are not acknowledged.
Over the years, I have made that an intention of my own. In my role as CEO of Signature Leaders, I get to listen to many alumni tell me about, not only their roles, but also about the wonderful manager or internal sponsor they have. I hear how much that person supports them, guides them, and makes a difference. It’s at that moment I ask, “When was the last time you told them you felt that way?” Frequently, the answer is never.
When I hear these accolades, and I happen to know the person they are talking about, I send an email to that person with the subject line: “Were your ears burning?” I will then share with them the description of how they are viewed and how they positively impact others. I tell them I know they don’t get to hear this as often as I know they deserve to hear it, and I wanted to share this instance with them.
The emails that come back are always ones of surprise and joy.
As leaders get higher in their organizations, the simple “thank yous” of appreciation are often forgotten.
“Thank you for sharing your experience with me. Thank you for being in my corner. Thank you for your unending support.”
We expect this to be part of a leader’s job. And as such, we forget to take a moment and acknowledge how that “job” actually makes a difference for us.
If, after reading this, you take a moment to “send a compliment up” this week, we will have collectively touched a mere 3,000 leaders. If we can do that, I might have earned another “Great job, Coco!”
About the Author
Global Executive, Speaker, Author, and Founder of Signature Leaders
Carol Seymour is a sought-after business leader and seasoned global executive of large and mid-cap size companies and private-equity backed turnarounds. She founded Signature Leaders in 2013 which focuses on accelerating women into next level leadership and helping leaders create greater impact and influence. Signature Leaders was recognized last year as one of Inc. 5000 “Fastest Growing Private Companies”.
The Signature series of leadership offerings support the growth of women from Manager level up to and including C-suite executives. Today, more than 3000 global leaders across 6 continents have experienced a Signature program. Signature Leaders partners with more than 140 market-leading companies for their selective investments.
Carol is also a Founding Member of Paradigm for Parity and named one of the Top 40 Women Keynote Speakers for 2020 by RealLeaders Magazine.
Carol resides in Cashiers, NC. She has two married children, three granddaughters, and a grandson.