You may delay, but time will not. – Benjamin Franklin
Did you know yesterday was historic on our calendar? I spotted it as I wrote in my Journal … 12-12-12 — yes, it looks impressive.
When you throw in the time stamp, there was a moment in history recorded as “12:12:12 on 12-12-12.” Like a small town in Kansas blink and you missed it. If you are thinking, “Oh, I’ll just catch it next time” you’ll need to hang on until 2112.
It wasn’t until I Googled “12-12-12” that I realized December 12, 2012 was more than a cool number arrangement. There was a New York concert “121212” a fund raiser for victims of the storm, Sandy. It seems brides, wanting an iconic wedding date flooded the County Clerk’s Office and Wedding Chapels.
*Correction 12/13/12: LiveScience.com reports the Mayan prophecies point to an “important cycle” associated with 12/21/12, not 12/12/12. If you are reading this December 22, 2012 take note of how our world is different.
Isn’t that always the case?
What if you missed celebrating 12-12-12? It was a once-in-a-lifetime moment; you and I, we will not live to see 12-12-12 again.
Truth is that’s how life can be whether it is 12-12-12 or 09.12 (oh, you missed my birthday, too!?) Yes, Mr. Franklin was right, “You may delay, but time will not.” When we fail to celebrate a moment, that moment is lost.
But, is all lost?
The good news is it’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to special occasions, achievements, and acts of kindness or celebrating another person.
If we miss a moment in the Story we can still write the note, pick up the phone, send the text or card or flowers or candy; we can invite to lunch or coffee, and show our appreciation, express our gratitude or celebrate the person, the moment in time … until “time” is no more.
Ritual and Ceremony
This holiday season of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and a New Year can create space if we let it. Space to reach back in the Story and celebrate.
What’s going on in your Story? Whether it is the best of times or a tough chapter, I hope you cultivate gratitude and manifest appreciation as you find reason to celebrate.
In my book, The People Project I write about “The Beauty of Appreciation”. The story is about Heather, a valuable employee.
Over coffee she began to confide in me, so I asked “What is your challenge today?”
The bottom line answer: her growing disengagement at work.
In addition to Heather’s positive career path with the company, she was consistently hitting performance goals. She was also identified as an emerging leader by the company’s regional corporate leaders — an awesome achievement, indeed. So why then were we having this java chat? Why was she thinking about leaving?
Did she like what she was doing? Yes.
Was she a “good employee” making a difference; did she have highly valued character qualities? Yes.
Had her employer invested time and money in her personal growth and professional development? Yes.
Was she growing as a person, an assistant manager, and a leader? Yes.
Did her company see an enlarged role in their future? Yes.
Then, why was she considering an exit strategy?
If you ask, “How much of a raise did she want?” you asked the wrong question…salary was never mentioned, and neither was the substantial demand on her schedule.
As my frozen mocha coffee was all but gone and she answered my questions, the solution for keeping this emerging leader became quite clear: appreciation. Her manager was missing an important skill: the ability to communicate basic appreciation.
The truth is this appreciation only exists when it is expressed. Appreciation is admiration, approval, or gratitude expressed.
Here are five tips to help you celebrate and appreciate people and blessings in your story and retain top talent in your organization. (The People Project p. 41)
- Be intentional
- Seize the moment
- Know your people
- Leverage existing opportunities
- Brag on them to someone special in their life
While the occasion to write “12.12.12” as today’s date is gone for us, the chance to celebrate is not. Who or what will you celebrate today? How will you go about the “party”?
THE PEOPLE PROJECT:
Your Guide to Changing Behavior and Growing Your Influence as a Leader