25 September 2023

Noted: How a five minute note can mean so much

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As a manager, Mike Kaeding* often spends much of his time racing from meeting to meeting, trying not to forget to take a few minutes to let his team know how much he appreciates them.

Life moves so fast.

It’s easy to miss the quiet yet important things in life.

Recently I had to race off to a meeting with a reporter.

I was running late because my previous meeting had run long. I didn’t feel prepared.

I drove as fast as I legally could to get there.

I only had a few minutes to spare and my heart was pounding.

What am I going to say? Do I have all the right answers? I hope I don’t make a fool of myself.

I walked into the building and I saw some of my staff. I said a quick hello and then raced off.

I’m a work in progress. One of the things I don’t do well sometimes is really stopping and engaging with the people around me in the moment.

My employees are good about giving me feedback on that, which I appreciate because I can better see some of the moments that I fail.

Before, I didn’t see them it at all.

So, do you see how I’m failing in this moment as I race to speak to a reporter?

I’m failing to appreciate the people right in front of me who are making our company successful.

The reporter showed up right on time. We started talking and really hit it off.

We talked about everything from my work in virtual reality to business to quantum mechanics.

It was a blast and we shared a lot of interests in common. She was one of the best reporters I’ve spoken to.

Yet in the back of my mind there was a quiet little voice screaming: Mike, you have a fantastic staff, make sure to let them know.

After talking to the reporter, I was faced with racing to another meeting.

Instead, I stopped, called and asked to delay the next meeting.

Then I found a quiet place for five minutes to write a note that simply thanked a staff member for her incredible contribution to our company. I left the note for her.

It was about a half an hour drive to my next meeting at our main office.

When I walked into the office I was greeted by the manager of the employee who I gave the note to.

She thanked me for taking the time to write it.

Life moves so fast, but stop and make a little time to appreciate the people around you.

It will make a huge positive impression.

*Mike Kaeding works for the Norhart Company in Minneapolis where he has raised a strong leadership team. He can be contacted on twitter @mikekaeding.

This article first appeared at www.norhart.com

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