Of the many gifts we give others to express our appreciation for all they do, perhaps none is more novel or impactful than giving the gift of people. People are the perfect gift from leaders. Gifts of people bring meaning, memory, and experience together in a way almost no other gift can rival.
A weekend away with old friends, a fitness trainer or nutritionist to make us better, arranging for a college roommate to attend a birthday, a virtual call with life-long mentors at promotion time, a celebrity coach who gives our team a pep talk, a pre-arranged phone call with an estranged loved one, a breakfast with a mentor, an introduction to a personal hero, an expert resource to solve a pressing problem. People make wonderful gifts.
The next time you want to say thank you to a colleague or team member in the most memorable way, consider giving them a person who matters to them. This might be someone they know or someone they don’t, but the essence of the gift is the same: you will value an experience with this person and I am gifting them to you because I can. The ability to deliver such an experience is a leadership skill only few recognize. People make the best gifts, and only leaders give them.