by Mark Goulston
Forget the empty platitudes; your star employee is not a "godsend." They are a person deserving of your not infrequent acknowledgment and worthy of appreciation and respect. When was the last time you thanked them — really thanked them?
In my line of work, I frequently communicate with CEOs and their executive assistants, and nowhere is the need for gratitude more clear.
After one CEO's assistant had been particularly helpful, I replied to her email with a grateful, "I hope your company and your boss know and let you know how valuable and special you are."
She emailed back, "You don't know how much your email meant to me." It made me wonder — when was the last time her boss had thanked her?
This happens frequently. For instance, a few years ago, I was trying to get in touch with one of the world's most well-known CEOs about an article. His assistant had done a great and friendly job of gatekeeping. So when I wrote to her boss, I included this: "When I get to be rich, I'm going to hire someone like your assistant — to protect me from people like me. She was helpful, friendly, feisty vs. boring and yet guarded access to you like a loyal pit bull. If she doesn't know how valuable she is to you, you are making a big managerial mistake and YOU should know better."
A week later I called