Celebrate the Successes of Others - GrowinBytes Ed.101

Published by Linda Rolf on 3/19/2018 and updated 11/17/2021

Even if you have never hammered a nail, you no doubt recognize the familiar orange Home Depot beacon in your neighborhood. I have two confessions.

First, I'm always eager to tackle a home improvement project.

Second, as most of you know, I'm an avid reader and learner in many areas but especially in all things business-related. For all of my reading, I have never explored the Home Depot story in depth.

Frank Blake

I just listened to Tim Ferriss' podcast interview with Frank Blake, the CEO of Home Depot from 1997 to 2014. Frank's eclectic career and lessons learned along the way have inspired me to learn more. So much so that I have added Built from Scratch, the 2001 story of Home Depot's journey, to my ever-expanding reading list.

More to the point of this GrowinBytes post though, are the stories that Frank shared. His early encounters eventually led him to Home Depot's top leadership position. Here are two of my favorites. I encourage you to carve out time to relax with a beverage of your choice and enjoy the entire podcast.

Jack Welch

During Frank's time with GE, he had the good fortune to receive leadership wisdom from Jack Welch. Several years into the relationship, Frank asked Jack what he considered to be the greatest quality of a leader. Much to Frank's surprise, the answer he received was "generosity". A successful leader celebrates the successes of others. What a simple thought and yet one that seldom rises to the top of the admired qualities list.

GrowinByte 1

Do you have the confidence to genuinely and publicly celebrate the successes of those around you?

George H.W. Bush

During President Bush's tenure as Vice President, he routinely typed (the old-fashioned way) personal thank you notes to staff members. The occasional correction fluid and slightly misaligned paper added to the generous intention of the notes.

Frank Blake was so inspired by President Bush's spirit of warm leadership that he continued this writing practice as Home Depot's CEO. Each Sunday he personally handwrote 200 notes, recognizing employees for their exceptional acts of unselfish customer service. Those coveted words of encouragement created an environment for employee engagement and commitment to Home Depot's customer experience.

GrowinByte 2

How would a personal, handwritten note from you inspire a positive connection with a valued employee or customer?

I hope you enjoyed your snack!

GrowinBytes snack

Linda Rolf is a lifelong curious learner who believes a knowledge-first approach builds valuable client relationships.

She is fueled by discovering the unexpected connections among technology, data, information, people and process. For more than four decades, Linda and Quest Technology Group have been their clients' trusted advisor and strategic partner.

Linda believes that lasting value and trust are created through continuously listening, sharing knowledge freely, and delivering more than their clients even know they need.

As the CIO of their first startup client said, "The value that Quest brings to Cotton States is far greater than the software they develop."

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