Say “thank you”

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The day before yesterday, one of our software gurus pulled a miracle out of his hat.  A server had been hacked, and he got stuck with the unsavory task of trying to retrieve what’s salvageable and to bring the same services back up on a different server, with almost no material support from anyone.

I thought it would take a week to bring it back up. It took him 2 working days (and nights).   So I emailed the software team and the senior management team to acknowledge this feat.  I also acknowledged his improbable achievement in other public gatherings.

In my mind, this guy put in effort above and beyond the call of duty and achieved a fabulous outcome.  The least I could do is to make sure everybody knew it was he who did the work, and that I was really impressed.

In startups this kind of acknowledgement is simply not done frequently enough.   When everyone is in a constant state of running around like chickens with their heads cut off, it is hard to remember to stop and say a simple “thank you” to the people responsible for the achievements that keep the lights on and help support the success of the company.  But we simply have to make the time.

Nobody reads minds. If you don’t express it, it’s like you never experienced that sense of appreciation.    Our employees make big personal sacrifices to be in a startup, with an often compromised compensation package, strange working  hours, and a perpetually high stress level.  Say thank you frequently, often, in public and in private.  Make sure they know your appreciation.  It’s the least we can do for our star performers.

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