Connections - Fall 2015 - (Page 20)

> member perspectives The Undeniable Significance of the Handwritten Note WHEN WENDY [KAVANAGH] reached out to GSAE members requesting ideas related to best practices in leadership, there were a number of really good concepts that I've routinely utilized over the years, and would include as central to our organizational success. The usual suspects came to mind: Annual Board Orientations; signed Conflict of Interest Policies; Board Member Media Training and Crisis Communication Planning; How to read the Financial Statement; Standards for Nonprofit Ethics & Accountability. The list goes on and on. As non-profit executives, we must consistently prepare our staff and revolving Board members to be proper stewards of the public trust. All of these best practices are critical and important, and yet, in the end, we can only lead a horse to water. The message I'm choosing to emphasize as most helpful to remember is what I consider the unfortunate disappearance of the all important, meaningful, uniquely-southern tradition of the handwritten thank you note. Please don't think for a second that a quick email is a satisfying substitute for the real thing. It's not. Many of us will soon be passing the torches of leadership on to the next generation. They will choose to do some things our way, and many things their own way. We, in the meantime, will be practicing 20 Fall 2015 the fine art of letting go. We CAN let go. Really - we can. But what I don't want us to do is let go of role modeling the grace and gratitude we always find and admire in our truly exceptional leaders who rarely miss an opportunity to thank everyone they can, as often as they can. Let's make a vow that as a best practice we will keep a box of fine stationery and envelopes, along with a stock of real stamps, handy in the top drawer of our desks. We'll set aside a calendar reminder each week to take out that box and write at least one hand-written thank you note to someone who deserves our recognition and appreciation. Handwrite a note. Seal it. Stamp it. Mail it. By doing so, you will fill the recipient's heart with gratitude. The real bonus I hope you will personally find, buried in this fine southern tradition, will be that extra lift of energy and spring in your step that you will undoubtedly experience on the way back to your desk BY DEBBIE HACKMANBARTLETT, CAE after having deposited your thank you note in the mail. I want that infusion of energy for you, and I also want that pride of professional appreciation for our colleagues that your thank you note will engender. The best of leaders never forget how they got to their position and the good karma resulting from paying it forward. And oh - by the way - thank YOU for helping to make GSAE a professional society I am so very proud and thankful to be a part of! Debbie Hackman-Bartlett, CAE, is a third-generation Georgian, the CEO of the Georgia Nurses Association, a licensed consultant for the Standards of Excellence Institute, a keynote speaker and a leadership development expert.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Connections - Fall 2015

Message from the Chair
GSAE News & Events
New Members
Thank You, GSAE Volunteers!
SAO Leadership Program Strengthens Association on Multiple Levels
Attending Athens
Purpose, Plan, Performance
Member Perspectives: The Undeniable Significance of the Handwritten Note
GSAE Summer Events Wrap-Up
Destination: The Outer Banks
Choices: There’s No Debating Our Leaders
Index of Advertisers

Connections - Fall 2015