Today is Heather and my wedding anniversary. We’ve been happily married for about 15 years now. Since we were married in 1977, 15 out of 32 years isn’t bad!

Actually, that’s an old joke we both use when we’re asked how long we have been married. We’ve been quite happily married for most of those 32 years. One of the contributors to our growing relationship is what Heather models so well and taught me a long time ago about the value of sending cards for every occasion (birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, sunny day, cloudy day, etc.). So there’s no way I am going to forget this – or any other – special day!

It’s a powerful appreciation habit. Heather’s also shown how important and valued a short personal note of thanks can be. Over the years, I’ve found that strong leaders and relationship builders are great thankers and celebrators. With today’s technical tools, there’s no reason we should forget a special occasion.

In the workplace, it’s a habit and mindset that reflects our values and assumptions about people. Highly effective leaders look for what’s right, build on strengths, and find ways to energize with the recognition or celebratory pause that refreshes. I’ve written a fair bit about this over the years and compiled a number of reward, appreciation, and celebration tips and techniques. Go to to peruse a selection of my short articles.