TouchPoints – leadership moments

Yesterday I received an email at work from MnDOT (Minnesota Dept. of Transportation) Commissioner Tom Sorel, with the subject line “Greetings from the Commissioner.” It says:

Qin, 

Best wishes to you on your Birthday!

Hope you have a great day today, and every day in the year ahead. 

Tom Sorel 

I received the birthday wishes from the Commissioner, not because I am special. Every employee at MnDOT has been receiving the greetings on his/her birthday since Sorel became the Commissioner in 2008.

So this was nothing new to me and I was not surprised this time as I was the first time when I received the email.

I knew the message was sent out automatically by the computer and Commissioner Sorel didn’t actually write every single message once he had it all set up with the IT folks.

Still I was touched by the simple message every time I received it.

It reminded of the book I recently read about – TouchPoints: Creating Powerful Leadership Connections in the Smallest of Moments by Douglas R Conant and Mette Norgaard.

In the book the authors show that a leader’s impact is built through hundreds of small and ordinary moments in time. Developing “TouchPoint” mastery by focusing on three essential components: head, heart, and hands can transform individuals and organizations, one magical moment at a time.

This simple message of birthday greetings from the Commissioner is just that, a touch point, when you feel touched in your heart and mind.

3 Responses to TouchPoints – leadership moments

  1. [...] A few months later on my birthday, I received an email from Commissioner Sorel wishing me happy birthday. It was a total surprise. Then I learned that every MnDOT employee received the happy birthday greeting on his/her special day. A simple act of kindness and thoughtfulness, it touched people. [TouchPoints – leadership moments] [...]

  2. Brenda Norman says:

    Qin,
    Thanks for sharing this leadership moment of which you were a beneficiary! It is a great illustration of how small acts can produce great impact. I am looking forward to reading the book and examining how I can create more Touch Points for others around me. And, Happy Birthday! Brenda

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