The Power of a Handwritten Acknowledgment Note

Jack Welch, former CEO of GE,  was considered a master of the handwritten note of acknowledgment to his people, which moved,  inspired and motivated them. According to Diane Brady, in a BusinessWeek article, “Welch would prod and praise them, sending out a flurry of handwritten notes, or champagne to spouses, for a task well done.” They treasured these notes and most probably still have them!

Why is it that a handwritten note can mean so much to people, even though they will save emails and even text messages for long periods of time? Something that comes directly from our hand seems to connect more readily to our hearts than typing and texting. I know I feel amazed and awed when I see that someone has taken the time and energy and made the effort to truly reach me. I actually run my fingers over the bumps on the reverse side of the note to get an even greater tactile sense of what is being communicated.

That’s why I was so moved and inspired by the handwritten note from the CEO of The Westervelt Company, Michael Case, regarding my new book on Grateful Leadership. In fact, I was so proud that I asked his permission to share it with you on my blog, and he agreed. Michael, one of the 11 Grateful Leaders I profiled in my book, writes notes to his people as well, and knows it makes a difference. So here is the heartfelt note he wrote, which I will treasure forever…without a doubt!


So thank you, Michael Case, for being an inspirational leader, and for writing me one of the most meaningful thank you notes I have ever received! Also, remember that the next time you want to acknowledge someone in a very important way, try a handwritten note. It really shows that you put your heart into it.