Normally on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, there would be some sort of poignant statement about the importance of expressing gratitude. Maybe it would be in relation to the holiday, or maybe instead it would relate to Black Friday. Either way, it would be full of "shoulds" and express how much better the world would be. Something shifted this year, however, and I realized that I should instead take this opportunity to do something different. I'm going to practice what I preach.
Gratitude is a funny thing. There is almost nobody that doesn't want to be appreciated for the contributions they make. Everyone wants to know that the things they do make an impact somewhere - that they made a difference. Oddly, however, the open gratitude is hard for some to deal with, and they'd rather not be thanked. I know because I'm one of them. Let's talk about those who would rather avoid the spotlight.
Today's leader is a little less famous, although he recently spent time in the national spotlight. It's always great when you thank your people for helping you get to the top. A heartfelt thanks lets them know that they matter and that you understand you couldn't have done it without them. Since it is a gesture so often overlooked, it always makes an impact on those being thanked. Tom Barnett, owner of Barnett Management in Phoenix, AZ, took it a few steps further. His company owns 24 Burger King franchises in Arizona, and he was given the Burger King Franchisee of the Year award. What he did with it might shock you.