Taking the Opportunity to Acknowledge the Person Who Set Me on My Path: Joan Lunden!

Judy with Joan Lunden

Joan and Judy at Books and Greetings in Northvale, NJ


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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See more about Joan’s book by clicking here:



Acknowledging all who participated in this blog in 2009!

I want to thank each of you who submitted a story that made the power of acknowledgment real to others. No author could possibly make up the wondrous stories of breakthroughs, overcoming challenges and obstacles, and being inspired to pass this powerful message on to others. In the
coming year, I would like to see a critical mass reached in those receiving and bringing forth the message, and a real shift in the world as a
result. We can make this happen together, simply by being conscious, courageous, communicative and committed (the 4 C’s). It is so simple — we just need some reminders about our power to motivate and inspire others and to make a difference in their lives. I am so happy to have all of you on the team that I truly believe can and will repair the world.

I wish each and every one of you a joyous, healthy
and prosperous new year. I acknowledge you
for taking this path and being willing to participate
in the journey with me.

All my best,

Judith W. Umlas