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5 inspirational people I’m thankful for

Updated: Dec 19, 2020

Although I haven’t lived in the U.S. for twenty years, I still have a special place in my heart for the holiday of Thanksgiving. It brings back memories of sitting around the table with people I love and respect, sharing stories of thanks and creating new moments to be thankful for.

As I’ll be on a plane travelling to Bulgaria to speak at an HR conference on Thanksgiving this year, I won’t be celebrating it, so instead I thought I’d do something different. I’d like to create and share with you a special Thanksgiving table, one filled with five people who have made 2018 a very special year.

Now before my family and friends wonder why they’re not listed, it’s because this is my professional Thanksgiving table, so people who have inspired and supported me throughout the year. And if I work with you and you’re not listed, please don’t be offended as I needed to keep this to blog-length. So here goes . . . 

Glenn Elliott

Glenn is the co-author of the book we published this year, ‘Build it: The Rebel Playbook for Employee Engagement’, and I am eternally thankful for him coming into my life. He not only gave me the opportunity to write this very special book with him, but working with Glenn has truly changed who I am as a professional and as a person, pushing me to be better in every way.

I now think and act like a rebel, doing so in words and by speaking at events around the world. Without Glenn I would have never been given this voice, this opportunity and the courage, so thank you to this caring, supportive and just as important, demanding person who inspires me and others every day.

This is the first picture taken of Glenn and I when we met speaking at a conference.

Claude Silver

Speaking of caring, I’d like to thank Claude, who is the Chief Heart Officer at VaynerMedia, and someone I met through Glenn. Claude is an inspiration to myself and others on the importance of leading through empathy. As she wrote in a recent blog, “Empathy is the secret sauce. Use it on everything.”

Here’s a link to a video interview she did with Glenn, where they’ll both inspire you.

Garry Ridge

Next is Garry, CEO of WD-40, who I met at a conference in the U.S. when I got up my courage to approach him to to review our book. He graciously agreed, and since then he’s continued to give to me through sharing his advice and wisdom, as well as to others through his speaking and writing.

It’s so wonderful to hear Garry talk about his people, or what he calls his ‘tribe’, he is truly an inspiration to other CEOs and business leaders.

Josh Bersin

Josh is another person I met at a conference, again asking him to review our book. He kindly agreed to do this as well as squeeze in a video interview with me.

Josh is an inspiration with his studies and article, pushing our thinking on conventional topics and processes, and making us all better in how we treat our people.

Katarina Berg

Let me say that I’ve never met Katarina, CHRO of Spotify, so she may be surprised to see herself on my list. The reason for this is to say and show how we all can be touched and influenced by others by their actions, regardless if you meet them.

The work that Katarina and her team at Spotify are doing is inspirational on it’s own, but the way they share it with others takes it that one step further. I am thankful for their approach, and the difference they’re making to myself and others.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Maya Angelou

As you can see, my list is as diverse as the five individuals I listed, as inspiration comes in many ways. And to add a bit more inspiration, let me share with you a link to some of the books and TED Talks that have inspired me the most over the last year, I hope you enjoy them!

So let me end by wishing you all a happy Thanksgiving, whether you celebrate the holiday or not. For to me, this holiday is about being thankful and appreciating others, so feel free to do that in your own special way.


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