If you were going to die soon, and had only one phone call to make, who would you call and what would you say?

And what is keeping you from doing it right now?

When I look back at my life, one of the greatest regrets in my professional career has to do with things I didn’t say but should have said. In the course of my career, I have met so many wonderful people yet often I failed to express my deepest appreciation to those people for what they did for my company and me. I often felt reluctant to say how I felt about them or was too busy to free up some time to thank them. I was afraid of making a fool out of myself and thought that if I appreciated my people too much they would start to take things for granted and expect more and more.

It was only much later in my career that I realized that appreciation was the missing link for creating an open and successful organization: a workplace where people could thrive and were able to grow into truly happy and engaged people.

I never realized it was because of my own attitude that we experienced difficulties in building a great team, making our people work more effectively and booking great financial results. Once I discovered this missing link, everything started to change. This is one of the reasons I decided to help other companies build a culture of recognition.

I was afraid that if I appreciated my people too much they would start to take things for granted.

In today’s business world, which is too often cold and unresponsive, uplifting words are springs of warmth and encouragement. We all need a boost from time to time, and a compliment, some words of encouragement or a few lines of praise have been known to turn around a day – sometimes even someone’s life!

On the 1st of March, we celebrate World Compliment Day. World Compliment Day reminds us that praise, appreciation, and encouragement are keys to creating happy, healthy and successful workplaces. But what if you would take this opportunity to share a compliment not just on World Compliment Day but every single day from this day on? If you want to improve your life and the lives of those around you, just start with building a culture of recognition.

People often think of recognition as the kind of fluffy feel-good stuff. However, this recognition can drive real results. And the good thing is that it is not expensive, and you don’t need an MBA or be in a position of authority to do it.

So, if there is one message I hope you will remind from this post, it is that no matter who you are or what you do, you have the power to use recognition to make a difference in people’s lives. Each and every day, you have the power to show people that you truly care and that what they do really matters. You have the power to help individuals reach their full potential by saying how much you value them.

Let us attack the recognition deficit that exists in our workplaces today and together we can make our business world a better, happier place…