Last night I had the wonderful opportunity to acknowledge someone who truly made a difference in the path I took in life, and the fantastic career that has come about as a result of it! That was Joan Lunden, Host of the network television show Good Morning America. Those of you who have read the Grateful Leadership book know the story, but for the rest of you, I will cite the very first thing I wrote in the book:
From: Grateful Leadership, Using the Power of Acknowledgment to Engage All Your People and Achieve Superior Results, co-published by McGraw-Hill and IIL © 2013
Excerpt from Chapter 1 “I’m Mad as Hell!” to Acknowledgment Activist:
Years ago I was troubled by the way people spoke to me or acted
toward me at my job at CBS Television while I was pregnant. So I
wrote an article for Working Woman magazine entitled “How NOT to
Talk to a Pregnant Businesswoman.”1 Overnight, I became the authority
on this subject, appearing on Good Morning America and a multitude
of radio stations.
I achieved this notoriety simply because no one else was talking
about this phenomenon publicly. I had only opened my mouth (or
poised my pen) and offered some commonsense, no-brainer (at least
to me) “rules” of communication to create a more respectful environment
in the workplace.”
Once I saw the power not only of the written word to describe a negative condition, but the phenomenal way that getting the word out can actually change that condition, I knew the power of this combination (for years people told me they took that article once they heard about it and passed it around at work, creating real change in their environments). And this was thanks to the fabulous interview the host of Good Morning America, Joan Lunden, conducted with me on the daily show that seemed to reach the entire world! So when I heard that Joan Lunden herself was coming to a bookstore near me to do a signing on her inspirational new book Had I Known, A Memoir Of Survival (Harper Collins ©2015), I knew I had to go and personally acknowledge her for the huge opportunity she created for me. And, when you think about it, she created it also for the rest of the people in the world who have benefitted from the messages of my books on The Power of Acknowledgment and Grateful Leadership. If I HADN’T KNOWN that writing about something and then speaking about it and creating tools for change could make a huge difference in a condition in the world, I would never have written these three books on a subject that started out being as painful to me as the improper communications and gestures by colleagues when I was pregnant at work. The subject was the LACK of acknowledgment of people at work, in families, in communities and throughout the world. I saw examples of this all the time, and it hurt me on a deep and personal level. But I knew from my experience with Joan Lunden that I could actually CHANGE THE WORLD!!! And when I see the results of the work that I do with and through IIL and its many platforms for transformation, I celebrate this and the fact that Joan and the staff of Good Morning America, who originally approved me as a guest, really gave me my chance!
So to Joan Lunden, and on behalf of all of the people who have benefitted from my work over the years, my heartfelt, deepest appreciation and gratitude for showing me the way!
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