Sunday, March 20, 2016

Do small things with great love

Many of my Saturdays are spent at a gym, watching either my oldest daughter play basketball or my youngest daughter play volleyball. Yesterday, I didn’t get to go (we forgot to make arrangements for our dogs), so I was bummed about not getting to see my daughter play. After a busy week at work, though, I was looking forward to catching up on some things for work and having time to do some housework.

On Friday, we had just wrapped up the second week of “15 Days of Inside Out Leadership,” a free email course that Lisa Dabbs and I created. Throughout the course, I've found myself reflecting on my leadership beliefs and practices as I enjoy the quotes, images, insights, and actions from the daily emails (we only mail on the weekdays).

Do small things with great love and you can change the world! #InsideOutLead 

During the first week, I tweeted the image above for our participants using the course hashtag, #InsideOutLead. Since then I’ve used it as my mantra at home and at work. It reminds me of The Fred Factor, a story I cherish for its simple and profound message.

Last weekend, I tweeted it again, with a different message.

I was sent almost 60 names by people across the country and Canada. I was thrilled! Armed with a stack of Thank You cards and stamps, I looked forward to the week of writing thank you cards. 

Fast-forward 5 days to Friday. Since the week at work had been busy, which included doing some work at night at home, I had not written any cards yet. I had planned to take them to the volleyball tournament with me and work on them between matches. 

Because attending the volleyball tournament was no longer an option yesterday, I sat at my dining table in my quiet house with a cup of coffee to write thank you cards. It was truly a blessing to thank so many educators and school support personnel for doing small things with great love. 

When I read about one person who visits a local shelter when she travels, or another who created a food pantry at her school for students in need or the person who does routine, mundane, and monotonous tasks with a smile on her face… it inspires me to give more, do more, and be more.

My day started with disappointment of not getting to see my youngest daughter play in her tournament, but it quickly changed to joy as I addressed each envelope. What a simple gesture... a note dropped in the mail to express gratitude. I will be forever changed.

Take the time this week to send a thank you card to someone you work with who does small things with great love. Let them know their actions don’t go unnoticed. 


  1. Wonderful post Jennifer and even more so wonderful actions!! Thanks for spreading the power of gratitude across the country and beyond!


  2. What an amazing thing you did, and a wonderful model for what we should all do...take time to express gratitude personally and specifically. Thank you Jennifer!

  3. Wow! This is a great idea! I might steal it!!!

  4. Jennifer, this is an absolutely wonderful idea. I plan to do this with the people in my school. It is the little things that make a big difference in many people's eyes. We can't forget this! Thank you for your honesty, dedication, and sincerity!

  5. I was one of the recipients of a thank you note from you today! It brought a smile to my face and all the warm fuzzies to my heart. I will be paying it forward!! Thank you for making my day-- I hope to do the same for someone very soon.