Since IIL published The Power of Acknowledgment in 2006, there have been a small but outstanding group of people who have truly embraced and embodied The Power of Acknowledgment and Grateful Leadership. In 2008, IIL determined that a select number of extremely deserving people should be given an Acknowledgment Ambassador Award and the first such award was then created and bestowed. Since that time, only five others have received it, and the most recent one is Pascal Cassecuelle at a surprise ceremony in Lyon, France which I had the honor of attending. People said they had never seen Pascal “speechless,” but indeed he was when he discovered that he was the recipient of this very deserved honor!
IIL’s CEO, Founder and President, E. LaVerne Johnson and I signed the proclamation, and I presented it to Pascal at the conclusion of the second of two, day long sessions on Grateful Leadership which I led in Lyon. Here is an excerpt from the Award, and you can see the whole document here (link):
Whereas Pascal Cassecuelle, Head of Region International, Bayer Environmental Science, has recognized the need and demonstrated the commitment to bringing the power of acknowledgment and grateful leadership as key leadership tools to his organization and to others for the purpose of enhancing and solidifying their cultures of appreciation and recognizing the value every human being has to offer;and he has taken a lead role in motivating his colleagues to fully and purposefully use this tool to achieve positive and powerful results throughout their professional and personal lives;
…International Institute for Learning (IIL) hereby proclaims Pascal Cassecuelle as the sixth official IIL Acknowledgment Ambassador, on 21 October, 2014. IILherebyrecognizes Pascal’s heartfelt desire to create the most positive attitude possible in the workplace by using and teaching others to use the principles of acknowledgment and Grateful Leadership. IIL recognizes, acknowledges and celebrates his commitment, enthusiasm, determination and courage in creating and carrying out this initiative.
Gokhan Vergon, Head of EMA for Environmental Science
Gilberto Neto, Head of Latin America for Environmental Science
Judy Umlas, IIL Senior Vice President, Author, Trainer Publisher
Leading the course was such a pleasure, given that I had worked with Xavier Joly, HR Business Partner – Region International BCS / Environmental Science at his previous global company, and had been so impressed with his leadership model that he became one of the Grateful Leaders profiled in IIL and McGraw-Hill’s book on the subject.
Xavier made the Grateful Leadership workshop a part of BayerCropScience People Strategy that he was instrumental in bringing to life at Environmental Science and turning into meaningful action for employees, soon after taking this position. And the results based on evaluations and follow up emails have been quite outstanding! All of this developed with the enthusiastic support of Gunnar Riemann, Member of the Bayer CropScience Executive Committee & President of the Environmental Science Division Worldwide. Here is what he wrote to people who were going to be participating in the classes, and I could not have asked for a better introduction:
The objective of this workshop is to empower all of us in giving acknowledgment and, through that, developing our leadership. Indeed, acknowledging our employees consists in being grateful for others’ personality, contribution, accomplishments; being grateful for who they are and how they are, which will enable us to enhance dramatically their levels of engagement, commitment and support.
Through this one-day workshop, Judith Umlas will give us the keys to unleash a whole new level of personal commitment and dedication. At the end of this workshop, each of us will then become ambassadors of the power of acknowledgment, with the responsibility to model true acknowledgment behaviour, this way inspiring others to do the same and to want to dramatically increase their levels of contribution to the organization, making the power of acknowledgment transformational.
This is the true goal of Grateful Leadership and The Power of Acknowledgment: to empower others to become ambassadors of the power of acknowledgment. And Pascal walks the walk without a doubt. It is clear from knowing him that he will carry this work forward and help Bayer build a true culture of appreciation, along with Xavier Joly and Gunnar Riemann and all of the wonderful people who participated in the classes.
“The Grateful Journey has begun!” (signature created by Xavier Joly which he uses on his emails and which I now use, with his permission, on all of mine! Thanks, Xavier!)
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