Acknowledging the acknowledgment
By: KIRSTEN RUTHERFORD, TBWA\CHIAT\DAY
Thank you. Two little words that I firmly believe in.
At the tender young age of 18, I met my first mentor in advertising. To this day, he is one of my dearest friends, and I saw him go from being my CD in a smallish agency in New Zealand to Worldwide ECD and CEO of one of the biggest global agencies.
At the end of my first day, he came up to me (filling the lowest position in the creative department) and profusely thanked me for my work.
It was so warm, I couldn’t help but think the big boss was pulling my leg. But the next day, he did it again. And the day after.
Soon I realized that he truly meant it. And it didn’t matter what level you were in his department, he was truly grateful for the work that every single member did.
No wonder he’s made it so far. Even at the highest global level, he makes everyone who works for him feel valued.
This same man has forged how I strive to act as a Creative Director.
I firmly believe that the little things can make a massive difference to how you see your job, and how those that work for you see theirs.
With this theme in mind, I made it a mission to capture every gesture of acknowledgement that came my way over the past month- given or received.
And amongst other things, here’s what I’ve learned.
-Words are wonderful
Birthdays, promotions, acknowledging someone having gone out of their way, recognizing a job well done, even more importantly- recognizing the effort and hard work when things don’t turn out as planned.
And if there isn’t a card for it, a post it note or email can be just as motivating.
-Knowing someone’s passions can be powerful in creating or giving thanks.
My assistant volunteers at an animal shelter so I was thrilled to give her 2 bags of towels and sheets for the dogs and cats.
My IT guru gave me some incredible homemade paleo pate (a passion he and I share).
I was so grateful that a producer spent the time to learn about a side art project I have, then surprised me with the perfect plastic box to keep my sharpies in.
One of my amazing creatives surprised me on my birthday with a little drink for every possible occasion. AMAZING.
But heartfelt thanks can be simple gestures… our current team favorite is a group message with a bitmoji thanking them for their efforts.
It doesn’t take much to learn someone’s favorite flavor of Le Croix or how they take their coffee.
It didn’t take much for my boss to say thanks. But he did. And he meant it. And it meant more to me than he’ll ever know.
For that, I like to tell him… thank you.