If you are in any position of leadership, you are in a position of influence. The longevity of your influence is a direct result of your gratefulness for those you influence. Klout can’t measure this. Whether your followers are continents away, hidden behind a computer screen or invited into your living room on a weekly basis, they need to know you’re grateful.
The quickest way to lose your influence is to be ungrateful.
I lead a team of volunteers every single week in the care of children for our faith community. There’s absolutely no way I could ever watch 150 kids, aged 0-10, by myself. I need a team to do it. If I could give each of them a salary, I would. What I can give them, however, is specific, heartfelt thanks.
This can be done through e-mail, gift card, dinner, plaque, pictures, vacations, candy, time-off, flowers, postcards, blog post, etc. No matter the method, don’t just say that you are grateful, share why your grateful.
Note: this isn’t the same as rewarding loyal fans. Your followers don’t carry a bonus card. A car giveaway at an NBA halftime show isn’t the same thing either. In an arena of 50,000 followers, 49,999 of them will go home with nothing. It just means you’ll have 1 incredibly devout follower. Stop pretending you’re AT&T. Nobody really wants that anyway.
Check out this e-mail that I just sent to this past weekend’s kids team:
I hope you all had a restful and enjoyable Thanksgiving. If you’re like me, your 5 lbs. heavier from too much food. Thank you so much for taking your holiday weekend to serve children and their families at Renovatus. I’m grateful for and proud of each of you. Even though Thanksgiving is over, here’s a special thanks to each of you:
- Ranjana – Thank you for helping the elementary kids at Ft. Mill to discover the meaning of Advent. Also, thank you for being patient with their crazy questions and unending energy.
- Crystal & Daniel – Thank you for picking up the Clorox Anywhere spray and for dropping it off despite your family’s sickness. Not to mention your unwavering commitment, week in and week out.
- Doug & Ashley – Thank you for always tearing down and cleaning up Ft. Mill afterwards even when it’s not your week. Thank you, as well, for getting kids pacifiers when they don’t need them.
- Becky – Thank you for welcoming each family and child with such professionalism. You make it easy for moms and dads to want to leave their kids.
- Stacy – Thank you for teaching Advent to the elementary kids at Little Rock. You always do it with such passion. Thank you for involving your whole family in the process.
- Cindy & Janice – Thank you for being the best mom & daughter duo in our nursery. You’re always so dependable and flexible.
- Justin & Silje – Thank you for always getting to church early. Silje, I appreciate your take-charge attitude and willingness to do whatever is necessary.
- Crystal S. – Thank you for being so consistent. I don’t want to ever take advantage of your kindness but are so stinking reliable! Thank you for helping Laura on her first day too. Speaking of which…
- Laura – Thank you for your first weekend on the Renovatus Kids team! You and Crystal jumped right in by hunting for that stinky diaper. I know it’s not glorious but you gave the needed gift of ‘down time’ to some parents.
- Kathy – Thank you being so proactive with your time. You never babysit. You teach and interact. I’m sorry that I didn’t have a CD player for you but I know you made the best of it. The kids love you!
- Lindsey – Thank you making moms feel so good to leave their kids with you. They feel that way because you’re a great mom too! Also, thank you for specifically volunteering your Thanksgiving weekend.
- Mary & Tim – Thank you both for treating each and every preschooler with such love and respect. It really shows. Mary, thank you for stepping in and being prepared even when you didn’t have to be.
- Barbee – Thank you for being obedient to the Lord by offering the Pill’s some time off. It was a true gesture of community.
- Sarah & Jamie – Thank you both for stepping in to do check-in on your weekend “off”…even if it is on a Sunday morning. Glad you made it back safely.
- Audrey & Chad – Thank you for being such staunch fans of Renovatus and for sharing that love with each family that comes through. Your commitment through the ups and downs is inspiring.
- Amy – Last but never least, your commitment to set up the Ft. Mill space each and every Sunday is inspiring. I am and will always be most grateful for your love.
This is just an example. It’s easy to be grateful for someone and not doing anything about it. What are you doing to show those who follow you that you’re grateful for them?