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By Keith Barnwell



The vast majority of us (but not all sadly) are very good at saying “Thank You” when someone has done something for us, like holding a door open or bringing a coffee. It takes little effort to be considerate, and we know it is the right thing to do.  But how many of us think of letting those who have, or are, making a difference in our lives know just how grateful we really are?

It could be someone from your past; perhaps a teacher, a family member or a friend that inspired you. It may even be someone famous; a sports personality or a musician. It may be that great boss you worked for many years ago, or a colleague that you worked with in the past. If could be anyone, but whoever they are, they were someone very special to you who helped to light the spark or gave you the desire to be the person you are today. They touched your life but perhaps at the time you didn’t realise just what an effect they had on you.

It may be someone you know today, perhaps someone in your place of work.  It may be the person in IT, Accounting, HR or Commercial etc, who always willingly goes the extra distance for you and makes things happen.  It may be the person in the coffee shop or at reception whose friendly smile and willingness to help lifts your spirits each day.  It may be a loved one, a family member or friend who gives you the resolve and determination to keep going and to try just that little harder. Whoever they are, they deserve to know that you appreciate them.


So whether it is someone past or present, old or young, man or woman, now is the time to say “Thank You”.   And it may be more than one person of course.  Write a note, send an email, call them, put a post on their Facebook page, send a Tweet, hire a plane with a banner, anything!  It doesn’t matter how you do it just so long as you take the time to let them know you appreciate them for the person that they are. Tell them how they have, or are, affecting your life.  Even if it is someone who is no longer with us you can still inspire others to think about making the most of their chance to say “Thank You” now by sharing what you would say to them if you could.

We see today’s social media being used to spread enough hate, malice and discontent, this is your opportunity to change the trend and use it to spread some gratitude.

When you have passed your message along come and tell everyone why you said ‘Thank You”, and if you want you can even tell everyone what you said and who you said it to – just as long as you don’t embarrass them too much of course!  If you don’t want to tell everyone what you said at least let everyone know why you said it. Please pass this on and let’s get the message of gratitude spread far and wide.

Ohh and if you were wondering, here is my “Thank You” to an old friend and someone who I served with in the Royal Navy many years ago:



Think what a positive difference your unsolicited gratitude could make to someone’s life today!

Thank you for reading and please share this post with others who you think may find it helpful.

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This is an extract from the LeaderFocus App for the iPad available on iTunes.  To learn more and to download the LeaderFocus App click on the icon.  Keith Barnwell is a leadership development specialist and executive coach at It’s All About Leadership