The Power of Hand Written Thank You’s

Our world has changed with the power of the computer, smart phones & social media. We have the ability to get information out to many in a few short key strokes, and there is obviously a lot of good that has come out of that.

When I first became a young Sergeant in the Ranger Regiment (my first time actually having my own fire team to lead), my Father reminded me to always say “thank you” to those that have assisted in your career and to those that you lead. He said “thank you’s work both up and down.”

Growing up I noticed he would always write people hand written notes; he was “old school” as they say and was never big into the computer information age (though he just passed his first college computer class at age 88, Hooah!) He reminded me throughout my career that there “was a power in the hand written note.”

I didn’t catch on early in my career, but the last 10 years I became well versed in writing little notes of encouragement and thank you’s to those that have made a difference. These notes don’t have to be long, just a few lines to tell those that their contributions were appreciated and made a difference.

Now retired from the military, I still continue to write clients and friends “Hooah” notes on James Dietz WWII pictured stationary (Dietz is a famous painter of Ranger History). Not an e-mail, not a text, but a hand written note that might sound archaic, but goes a long way into the “power of people.”

I still to this day have a hand written note on a 1st Ranger Battalion note card from then LTC Brian Pentecost, thanking me & telling me I did a great job as a jumpmaster on a particular airborne operation, in 1993!!!

While deployed to Afghanistan in 2008, I received six letters (and still have them) from legendary Army Officer LTC(Ret) Hank Keirsey on unique Civil War note cards; telling me to “stay strong, take care of your men, & press the fight to the enemy.” This is a man who is extremely busy, traveling and doing great deeds! Yet he “made” the time to write me a few sentences and check on my morale.

We were on a return trip for a leadership session for a major pharmaceutical company this past July. While there I was able to stop and see one of the leaders that initially hired us to do work. While we were chatting in her office I noticed next to her family pictures and work documents was a distinctive Jim Dietz notecard, the one I sent her as a thank you six months earlier!!

The power of handwriting notes!!

E-mail, text, twitter, etc…, they are all great. But if you want to thank a client or an employee, then jot down a few sentences on a note card outlining your thanks or their great job. It shows the receiver that your words are actually sincere, and you will be surprised how good it makes you, the sender, feel as well. It takes a little more effort, but it’s truly a “win-win!”

Hooah! Have a great day!!

Performance Coach & Lead Consultant
Elite Leadership Training LLC

Twitter: Leadership_Trng


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