My recent retirement opened the floodgates for many heartfelt conversations and emails; often sharing gratitude for a long ago conversation that had a significant impact on the person involved. This feedback will be held closely and will inspire me as I move into my new future.

One such message went like this…

Do you remember when you sat me down to tell me that I better get my act together if I wanted to stay with the company? I was a pretty high performer and thought I was “all that.” But, I was not living the “positive attitude” and “teamwork” values you preached. You told me at one point that my attitude was going to get me in trouble. Sure enough, I stirred the pot once too often and was placed on a warning for my behavior.

You took the time to schedule a meeting with me, reassuring me that the warning was not to push me out the door but, rather, to find a way to keep me on board. I was so nervous about that meeting! But, I found out for myself what others told me; you were meeting with me because you cared, not to lecture me. You gave me a loud and clear message, though – attitude and respect matter. And, I mattered.

It was quickly clear to me that you were sincerely concerned about me and my succcess. Your message was hard for me to hear but it was what I needed to hear. You could have just moved on. You didn’t. And, thanks to you, neither have I.

I’ve told that story to new employees when they joined the team. I want them to know that leadership here really does care about them. Thank you for caring about me.

Telling someone what they need to hear, when the message is rooted in love, is not a difficult conversation; it is a necessary conversation. Helping someone grow to be their best self is what happens when we show that we care. And, caring is one of the roots of leadership, isn’t it?

Tuesday Tidbits are usually focused on leadership or teamwork, always positive and, hopefully, inspirational. Feel free to share with your team. Consider adding your own comment to let them know why you are sending it to them.