I could see the anxiety in the eyes of our leader. While we hiked ahead to makecamp, he devised a plan. With another team member, he filled a water proof barrel with food, warmer clothes and a small tent. He hurled a rope to the strandedcrew and together they created a pulley system for retrieving the barrel. Whileeveryone was still concerned, taking action provided some comfort.Hand-wringing never accomplishes anything. Action gives a level of control over what, at face valuable, might seem uncontrollable. A leader helps people take thataction.
Everyone deserves to be welcomed home.
When the stranded crew appeared over the horizon at day break, we cheered, sangand welcomed them “home”. Their faces glowed with a sense that we weren’t justcustomers to serve, managers to follow, but rather individuals who cared for their well-being. They redoubled their efforts to work for us in the days that followed.There’s universality in wanting to be welcomed and cheered. Whether in theremote regions of India or the meeting rooms of Wall Street, employees deserveto feel that someone has seen their effort, their hard work and their long hours.The degree of engagement and retention might increase exponentially if leaderswelcomed them “home”.
Gratitude transcends latitudes
Regardless of nationality or geography, humans everywhere respond toexpressions of gratitude Not only do we seek a place where we are welcomed, butour spirits rise when others let us know that we matter. The more personal theexpression, the deeper is the human connection.While it is customary to pool monies and give a bonus to the trekking crew, our expedition wanted to extend a more intimate thank-you. After all, these men had put our well-being ahead of their own. They paid attention to our personal needs,even found a way to bake a cake at 15,000 feet when they discovered that two of us had birthdays.Our solution was to gift them with personal items we knew could be used bythemselves or their families. My new Timberland boots, thermal jacket and ski hatwent into the box along with my husband’s favorite space-aged parka. Our partyleft gloves, socks, medicines, thermals, and even unopened bags of trail mix and jerky brought from home. We gave money to have everything cleaned andrestored if need be.When gratitude comes from the heart, is personal, unexpected, and out-of-the-ordinary, amazing linkages are created. The gifts demonstrated that we hadobserved their life, their needs, and responded appropriately. Spontaneous