Make It Happen – Heartfelt Acknowledgment Works!


Unacknowledged Leaders

The other day, I headed out early morning to Walmart to pick up a prescription. While waiting for my order to be filled, I went back to the restroom area where I heard a lot of cheering going on. It sounded like a pep rally, and everyone was pumped and ready to get to work.

A few minutes later, I ran into the leader of the group in the restroom, and as we were both heading out the door, I decided to reach out and acknowledge her.

I introduced myself as an author and inspirational speaker and trainer, and that I was curious to know how often they do this kind of “firing up” the employees on their way out to the sales floor.

She explained that they do it three times a day, every day, with each new shift coming on. We chatted for a few minutes about just how important it was to keep people motivated each and every day.


As we talked, I was aware that she was a little dumbfounded that I was even reaching out to have a conversation with her.

As I praised and acknowledged her for what I had just observed her doing, she looked like a deer-in-the-headlights: not quite able to grasp my acknowledgment of her and the fine job she was doing.

As I expressed my observation that she appeared totally invested as a leader, I had another realization. While giving so much to others is a great reward in and of itself, it was possible that she was reaching for a way to receive and accept my compliments and praise.

Suddenly I remembered that I had several “I Make A Difference” wristbands on my wrist, so I pulled one off and asked her to accept my Acknowledgment of her and her outstanding leadership.

Looking into her eyes I said, “You Make A Difference, and I want to acknowledge what an inspirational difference you are making each and every day!”

Again, she looked at me with a stunned look on her face as if she was not used to being on the receiving end of things.

She accepted my gift and put it on her wrist. I then pulled out 3 more wristbands from my purse and handed them to her and said, “And now, I’d like you to accept these to acknowledge others who are making a difference in your life…”

It’s the ordinary acts of giving that create extraordinary experiences in life.
– Mary Robinson Reynolds

I’ve also learned to grab the moment and share with her that, if she wanted to make acknowledging others a regular thing, she could order her own wristbands from the website address imprinted on the inside of the wristband. She looked inside, saw it and nodded to me. And with that, we parted company.

I looked back over my shoulder and I received an unexpected gift back as I saw her looking down at her wristband gently rubbing her fingers over the words on the wristband – “I Make A Difference” – as she walked away.

Lesson: We often take leaders for granted. Who do you know that you could acknowledge today?

Reaching out …

0000 mary-3


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PS … It’s the Season for Celebrations.  Get your “I Make A Difference” wristbands and join us in acknowledging the impact we have on the world!

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