The magic of ARE

Today, out of blue, a certificate of appreciation showed up in my mail box.

It says: “Certificate of Appreciation is hereby granted to Qin Tang for your leadership and dedication as an agency wellness champion.” Underneath are the following two quotes:

"The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness." – Dalai Lama

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it." – William Arthur Ward

The certificate was signed by Linda Feltes, Project Manager for State of Minnesota Worksite Wellness.

Yes, I know Linda who is from a different state agency. I am on the Mn/DOT Health & Wellness Committee and have met Linda from attending H&W related meetings and presentations. I have helped plan and organize some brown bag presentations for state employees.

But I really haven’t done anything so significant that deserves such a certificate.

I was totally surprised by Linda’s kind words. I really appreciate Linda’s appreciation for the little things I did. And I also like the two quotes she put on the certificate.

The interesting thing is I am just reading Lee Cockerell’s book “Creating Magic: 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney.” Lee Cockerell was the Executive Vice President, Operations, for Walt Disney World for over ten years.

In Strategy #7, Burn the free fuel, Lee Cockerell focuses on the importance of appreciation, recognition and encouragement (ARE). He says ARE are free fuel that builds self-confidence and self-esteem, boosts individual and team performance. Great leaders look for opportunities to give out the free fuel of ARE in an authentic, specific and timely manner.

Recognizing employees, saying thank-you, catching them doing something right, doing the little things, being visible, participating at events, giving positive feedback, celebrating achievements are some of the ways leaders can dispense ARE every day.

When I saw the certificate of appreciation today, it did feel like something magic happened.

Linda , Thank you for showing me the magic through your giving of ARE. You certainly created magic for me by allowing me to experience the power of ARE.

Little things can mean a lot to people.

BTW, this was exactly the same words I sent to Suzanne Beecher after I read her 5/12/2010 blog post on life’s little "nothings."


Bad day

Today was not a good day for me.

First I was upset about a family issue. Then something happened to my van as I was about to leave for home. Police had to be called.

After three phone calls and more than an hour of waiting, a St. Paul police officer finally showed up.

The experience reminded me of the excellent service we have in Woodbury. I know if anything happens in Woodbury, the police will arrive in less than five minutes.

I remember one day several years ago I misdialed a phone number at home. Once I realized that I made an error and my call went to 911 an operator, I quickly hung up the phone without saying anything. That was another mistake.

Soon afterwards, my door bell rang. I was surprised to see a police officer at the door. He came to check if everything was OK because of the 911 call.

I was embarrassed, and also very impressed by the Woodbury police.

Now I think about it, I feel thankful, because nothing serious happened to me today. Good or bad, it’s all relative and about perspective. And I am thankful to live in Woodbury with better police service.