Leaders Need To Remember: Positive Feedback Is Free!

Jann FreedLeading Leave a Comment

Do you want to help people feel motivated?  What motivates you?  Taking the time to express authentic appreciation and gratitude might be the answer. 

NOTE:  If you missed my recent article in Training posted on LinkedIn, you can read it by clicking here.  Thanks for reading.  

Are resources tight? 

Do you wish you had more incentives to distribute? 

Are your employees as engaged as you would like?

According to Gallup research, only about 30 percent of employees are actively engaged in what they are doing at work.  The other  70 percent are either “not engaged” or “actively disengaged.”   In times of tight resources, leaders need to remember that authentic positive feedback is free!  Sure, it takes some time and some thought.  But it is worth it.  As John Maxwell likes to say:  “People don’t care about what you know until they know how much you care.”

As Apple became the first US-based company to be valued at 1 trillion, CEO Tim Cook decided thanking everyone (internally and externally) was critical to do.  As you read his comments below, ask yourself these questions:

  • How well am I showing my appreciation and gratitude?
  • Have I thanked people for the value they are adding?
  • Whom do I need to thank?
  • What might be some creative ways of thanking people?
  • How do I feel when my I am shown appreciation for what I am doing?


Today Apple passed a significant milestone. At our closing share price of $207.39, the stock market now values Apple at more than $1 trillion. While we have much to be proud of in this achievement, it’s not the most important measure of our success. Financial returns are simply the result of Apple’s innovation, putting our products and customers first, and always staying true to our values.

It’s you, our team, that makes Apple great and our success is due to your hard work, dedication, and passion. I am deeply humbled by what you do, and it’s the privilege of a lifetime to work alongside you. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the late hours and extra trips, all the times you refuse to settle for anything less than excellence in our work together.

Let’s take this moment to thank our customers, our suppliers and business partners, the Apple developer community, our coworkers, and all those who came before us at this remarkable company.

Steve founded Apple on the belief that the power of human creativity can solve even the biggest challenges – and that the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world are the ones who do. In today’s world, our mission is more important than ever. Our products not only create moments of surprise and delight, they empower people all around the globe to enrich their lives and the lives of others.

Just as Steve always did in moments like this, we should all look forward to Apple’s bright future and the great work we’ll do together.


Substitute your company’s name for Apple (I put the company’s name in BOLD, not Tim Cook) and read the letter again.

How are you showing people how much you care?