Leaders, please don’t underestimate the POWER of appreciation and validation! In this season of reduced budgets, doing more with less, and shrinking resources we need people to do MORE even though we can’t always pay them what they are worth. Fact of the matter is, we need some folks willing to run the extra mile for us. One of the ways we can get that is to say THANK YOU. Say it loud, say it often, write it, email it, post it, by whatever means you can, communicate your gratitude. If possible communicate it up the food chain. Affirming your approval and appreciation of a person’s efforts, input, and attitude speaks volumes. When a person knows that you value their contributions it makes a huge difference. In this age of email and voice mail we have gotten away from hand written communication. I find that a personal note, handwritten, is highly valued by a team member because it takes a little more time and effort to whip out the pen and paper than it does to bang away on a keyboard and push send. However you do it, just get it done! Add saying thank you to your weekly list of “things to do.” Make it a point to thank someone everyday for their contribution. This works in the professional and personal worlds we inhabit.