I couldn’t have done it without you
In these stay home, WFH, isolationist days it’s easy to feel like an island, separated, needing to make our way and do what’s needed alone. Yet, if we think things through we can see that everything we do has been enabled by someone taking action elsewhere.
As we look back we can see fanned out behind us all those who’ve been part of our story, whether that’s the most recent chapter, or further back. In the simplest things such as the food we buy, there are others who’ve grown, packed and delivered that food to a place we can access it.
In work terms it may be the great boss who shaped our empowering leadership style. Or the boss who set the bad example we’ve worked hard not to emulate. Or the people who ensure our equipment is fixed when it isn’t working properly.
Some of us may have watched at least a part of those interminable award ceremonies where the winners (often) gush thanks to everyone they’ve ever known. And while we may be a little sceptical at the delivery of such thanks there’s learning here.
Acknowledging others’ contributions to our enterprise is essential on so many fronts. Sure, we’re reminding ourselves we’re not ploughing a lonely furrow. And we’re validating others’ contributions, valuing our fundamental interdependence and building the quality of relationships and interactions that are needed to create a better world.
As leaders we need to be disciplined in recognising what others do and acknowledging their part. This doesn’t require a slushy Oscar speech. It does need a thank you accompanied by at least a mental note that ‘I couldn’t have done it without you’. Such appreciation takes a moment and yet has a resonance within us and others that goes far beyond the time it takes. Surely that’s worth our effort?