The Power of a Leader’s Appreciation

It’s always refreshing to watch a leader demonstrate the principles he advocates; showing, by example, how those principles translate into action.

Last week, we celebrated the official opening of our new NetSuite Waterloo location (home of TribeHR), in Kitchener, Ontario. True to the spirit of celebration, the event reflected a carnival theme, complete with midway games, popcorn and funnel cake cupcakes (yes, there were cupcakes with funnel cakes on top – you had to be there!) The space was packed with employees, customers, suppliers, friends, family and local dignitaries. Ceremony was minimal and fun was the order of the day.

The only speech-making was a brief toast delivered by Joseph Fung, NetSuite’s VP HCM Products, co-founder of TribeHR and our own fearless leader. He kept it short and sweet, aiming his remarks solely at his growing team, in sincere appreciation.  He could have focused on his achievements with TribeHR since it was founded. He could have waxed eloquent about NetSuite’s commitment to our growth (as evidenced by our awesome new space!) He could have resorted to political schmooze by acknowledging the government representatives in the room. Instead, he used the opportunity to thank his team.

And he didn’t just say a blanket thank you to “staff.”

He broke it down to a more personal level, addressing his thanks to those who’d been with him from the start for their commitment and perseverance through the lean times; to those who’d joined along the way for riding the unexpected roller coaster of massive change, and finally to those most recently on-boarded for jumping in with enthusiasm.

He made a point of describing the specific actions and behaviors he was most appreciative of, including:

  • remaining positive under pressure in a grossly overcrowded space before the move;
  • staying focused on the work, regardless of the demands and chaos of moving; and
  • keeping things on track during and after the move, in spite of the many relocation headaches.

Most importantly, he expressed his sincere appreciation of everyone on his team in the presence of their peers, customers, suppliers, friends, family and local dignitaries. In doing do, he publicly made the company’s success their success.

In one two-minute, impromptu speech, Joseph Fung showed us that he really believes in appreciation. That it’s not just a word on his list of values: rather, it’s part of who he is. There is no doubt that everyone loves to be appreciated. Listening to this one short speech last Thursday reminded me that few things are more powerful than sincere appreciation from a leader, especially when it’s personalized, specific and public.

Joseph, you’re welcome…and we love the new NetSuite Waterloo space!


If you appreciate a high performance culture, you’ll love NetSuite TribeHR. Start your free trial today! 

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