We mailed our business holiday cards this week. While it takes a lot of time and effort, it’s worth it. And it makes us feel good. More importantly, it gave us some time to think about the lessons we can learn from holiday cards. Those lessons apply whether you are an executive coach, strategic planner or any other type of business. And these lessons work in Cincinnati, Ohio, Kentucky and all the way to Jacksonville, Florida.
Every business, when you get right down to it, is about relationships. People we worked with, networked with or just crossed paths with.
Our approach to Christmas cards has always been to put everyone on the list. We like to add names and are reluctant to remove them. Because everyone matters.
One of our all-time biggest engagements came as a result of this approach. We mailed a holiday card, year after year, to the administrative assistant who helped schedule executive coaching for her boss. She later told us how much she appreciated receiving those hand-written notes. When the opportunity arose, she recommended us to another senior leader who needed strategic planning, team building and executive coaching.
Holiday cards are also a small way for us to give thanks to our customers. And while it isn’t a big party with an open bar, it is nevertheless a gesture of appreciation. It takes a lot of time and effort to personally sign and write notes in almost a thousand cards. People notice.
Most of us don’t show our appreciation as much as we would like. So, make the effort to say “thank you” to whoever you appreciate.
One approach to holiday cards is to mail everyone who might give you business in the coming year. While that makes sense in a very intentional way, that’s not how we do it. We leave our old clients on the list. It’s our chance to say hello to people we used to work with, those who we helped. They became friends and we celebrate the success they had after our engagement. And we just like reaching out to say hey.
As we all know, this is a different holiday season. Fewer Christmas parties, fewer holiday gatherings, more masks. But the love and caring for our friends, co-workers and family ensures. We spend our days in executive coaching and strategic planning. But we live our lives among people we care deeply about. And many of them were, are or will be customers. Some are in Cincinnati, others in Kentucky and others in Jacksonville or Amelia Island. The lessons we can learn from holiday cards are the lessons that matter most. Everyone is important. If you are interested in executive coaching or strategic planning, please give us a shout. Yule make us feel important, too.