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June 25, 2018

Small Business Advice

Remember to be thankful for employees, colleagues

"Thanksgiving Day is a jewel, to set in the hearts of honest men; but be careful that you do not take the day, and leave out the gratitude." ~ E.P. Powell

Jerry Osteryoung | 12/2/2013

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to be grateful for all of the blessings that our lives have given us. Too often we are more concerned about what we are going to do tomorrow or next year, forgetting just to relish the moment and be thankful for all that has been provided to us.

I often hear people say that never has anyone put on their tombstone that they wished they had worked harder. Rather, they say they wished that they would have told their family that they loved them more and shown this love in many ways.

However, Thanksgiving gives us a wonderful time to reflect on showing and telling all the people in our lives how much we love them and appreciate them.

Your staff spends much more time with you than with their families and it is so easy to forget this. This time of year it is important to just ponder how much your staff has given and sacrificed for you. Feeling this gratefulness is an important element both to being a great manager, but also to be a kind person. Additionally, this feeling of gratefulness just feels so good.

Over the years, I have many great staff members that have given so much of themselves to make our organization great. There is no question in my mind that most of my successes have come because of the great staff I had and I am very thankful for this.

I had a wonderful assistant Barbara. No matter what needed to be done, how much work it took or what time it was, she always put the organization above her personal needs. I will always be grateful for being exposed through her to what it really meant to be committed to the goals of the organization.

Not only am I thankful for her showing me what this real commitment looked like, I am grateful for getting to know her family and her religious beliefs. As I think back about my time with Barbara, I realize how much she taught me and feel thankful that she was put into my life so I could learn from her.

As you are enjoying this Thanksgiving holiday, spend some time just thinking about all the people who have made your life what it is and what it will become. I try to spend some quiet time each day feeling this thankfulness and it does make me, at least I hope so, a better person.

Now go out and appreciate all that you have been given and make sure you spend time telling your staff how much you appreciate them.

Other small business advice columns from Dr. Osteryoung are here.

Jerry Osteryoung is a consultant to businesses - he has directly assisted over 3,000 firms. He is the Jim Moran Professor of Entrepreneurship (Emeritus) and Professor of Finance (Emeritus) at Florida State University. He was the founding Executive Director of The Jim Moran Institute and served in that position from 1995 through 2008. His newest book co-authored with Tim O'Brien, "If You Have Employees, You Really Need This Book," is an bestseller. He can be reached by e-mail at

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