Using The Power of Acknowledgment to Help the World

Last year I led a half-day workshop on The Power of Acknowledgment for the U.S. Department of Justice as well as representatives of various federal and state agencies. Partway through, someone from a New York State agency said that he had met a real master of acknowledgment in his career, and that the person’s name was Joe Fox, Brooklyn Chief of Police. Others seemed to know him as well, and heads were nodding in agreement. I filed the name away for future reference and continued with the training on the 7 Principles of Acknowledgment.


Then last May, I led a similar training workshop for 30 Executives in the New York Police Department, and again the name of Chief Joe Fox surfaced. This time just about all heads were nodding in agreement, and everyone seemed to know him as a master of acknowledgment. Example after example of his gentle, far-reaching skills were cited. This was becoming serious – I really had to put Chief Fox on my “must meet” list. People were going out of their way to sing his praises. Then two weeks ago, I went back to the NYPD to train about 20 more Executives – word had spread about the results of  “the power of acknowledgment”  training. This time, one of the NYPD executives came up to me and suggested that I autograph a book for Chief Fox – he was sure it would mean a great deal to him. Captain Sosnowik, who had brought me in to do the training, agreed wholeheartedly and said he would make sure the book got to the Chief.


A few days later I got a deep and heartfelt message of thanks for the book on my voicemail from the Chief of Police and a suggestion that we get together at some point to share our desire to change the world for the better. Since then I received a beautiful poem from Chief Fox that I have gotten his permission to share. He wrote it after visiting a number of hospitals, watching nurses make momentary, yet infinite “differences” in the lives of vulnerable people, when they needed it most. Acknowledgments, too, allow us to be “messengers of grace” and to help the world. The Chief saw that similarity immediately upon receiving the book, so it is indeed an honor for me to share Chief Fox’s vision with all of you:


Help the World 
In our lives, we see so many people in pain, in need
many of whom we cannot help
making us feel powerless
unable to make a difference
unable to have a meaningful impact in our world. 
But everyday there are moments,
special opportunities when we can comfort one person
be a messenger of grace
bring a moment of peace. 
And when we help another,
“person to person"

we help the world.

even for just a moment


 By Joseph Fox, Brooklyn Chief of Police


I had the honor today of meeting Chief Fox at an NYPD Leadership training session for which he was one of the presenters! I now know for sure that together we will bring these positive messages forth in powerful ways to help the world. And all of you can be among the messengers of grace who do help the world every day.