The Most Important Words In A Leader’s Arsenal



Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Recently, we completed one of the most memorable events in the history of our student ministry. You can read more about that by clicking here.

The very next morning, I woke up early, drank my coffee, and thought about how awesome I was in life and at my job. I made sure everyone knew who got all the credit (ME!) and everyone who put in all the work to make it happen were just “doing their job.”

NO! I did NOT do that. Why? Because I know, from the core of my being, that nights like that are not POSSIBLE without the work of hundreds of people making it happen. I know, from the core of my being, that it takes an army, a village, a team (insert whatever metaphor you want) to make it happen.

Because I know how true this is, I arrived at our team meeting place an hour before we started so I can send off “Thank You’s” to every person I could think of who had a hand in helping make this so memorable. 

Why are ‘thank yous’ the most important words in a leader’s arsenal? 

1. They keep you humble.

Sometimes, when you’re the leader, you can start to feel like you’re the most important person next to Jesus himself. In reality, great leaders recognize their need and real dependence on others to make dreams become a reality. When you actively thank others, it reminds you as the leader that you truly could not have done ______ without the help of so many people.

2. They inspire others. 

Every time I thank someone, I remind them of all the ways THEIR work helped achieve a greater story/experience/event for others. If we saw 1800 students come through our doors and 55 students make a first time decision to follow Jesus, then whoever I’m thanking needs to know that I genuinely believe this is a direct result of their work and efforts. And when a leader writes this to others, it better not be forced or fabricated; it better be genuine, because if you don’t believe the work of a facilities team member, the design of a creative team member, the prayers of your senior ministry didn’t contribute to the overall success, you are living in a fantasy land. 

3. They build camaraderie. 

By thanking people who work for you, with you, above you, below you, forced or voluntarily, you will experience a greater amount of camaraderie and team unity. Thanking others lets them know they are a real and valuable member of the team.

Thankfully, I have had several leaders who’ve led me and modeled this so well. Personally, I don’t always take the time to thank people and I don’t always say it genuinely, but when I do, it becomes the most important words in my arsenal. 

Who do you need to say ‘thank you’ to today?