Every December my wife and I watch the 1954 movie classic “White Christmas” with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye (music by Irving Berlin). In a nutshell, the guys put on a Christmas show bringing their old Army unit to Vermont to surprise their former commanding officer (now a struggling innkeeper – played by Dean Jagger). The look on Major General Tom Waverly’s face when he sees the men from the 151st Division gathered to honor him gets me every time. Maybe it is an idealistic (okay, schmaltzy) ending, but it touches a universal chord: people want to know that they matter – that their lives make a difference.
That’s not a message we tend to hear—or give—very often. Yet we may feel we do – especially at this time of year with holiday gatherings when we routinely make the “thanks – good year – good job” comments. We offer lots of head-talk, not heart-talk.
The truth is that most of us are longing to be inspired, not just thanked; we want to hear the leader’s vision and then know that we are the ones who will make it happen. We want to know that our work matters – that what we are doing is valued and makes a difference. Right?
So, as we close on the final chapter of 2023, remember that in a culture obsessed with measuring talent and ability, we often overlook the important role of inspiration. Inspiration awakens us to new possibilities by allowing us to transcend our ordinary experiences and limitations.
That is what I hope for each of you in the coming year.
78Madison is a full-service marketing communications firm (advertising agency) located in Orlando, Florida (Winter Springs, Florida).