"From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life."
Arthur Ashe

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Leadership Notes -- Thoughts on Leading People and Making a Difference in Organizations

Word count this issue: 323

Estimated reading time:  2:30 minutes


Hello from Winnipeg, where I am working with a client on a strategic planning session. Good work, great people and making a difference; I am very grateful.


I had the great honour of attending the retirement party for my brother-in-law, Paul Alofs, of the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. It was a wonderful evening, for an amazing leader. Paul and his team over the last 14 years have raised a phenomenal $1.28 billion for cancer research and made the Princess Margaret Hospital one of the Top 5 cancer research hospitals in the world. It was an honour to be there to help he and my sister celebrate.


And as I said to another guest, I keep wondering why we wait for retirement parties and funerals to say such nice things about each other. (And I hope people have said nice things about Paul before Monday evening!) I also hope that people have said nice things about you this week as well. And if they haven’t they should! And I wonder have you said nice things about the people with whom you work this week? Have you said them to their face?


Three things are important to remember here:


  1. If you don’t tell me what I’m doing well, I do not know what to keep doing well.
  2. If all I ever hear from you is negative, I will begin to treat you as a foe, and pretty soon not pay any attention to what you are trying to tell me.
  3. People need to be assured, complimented, and feel seen by people whom they respect. You can make a big difference by simply seeing people and thanking them specifically for what they have done and learned over the last week.



Gratitude is vital for us, let’s make it more common in our workplaces.