I received the coolest email recently.

It’s from a Revolutionary that wishes to remain anonymous, which didn’t make much sense until he explained how he wanted me to share some sensitive financial information. He wants me to share it because…well, wow. But it can’t be public.

Here’s his story. He agreed to allow me to call him a pseudonym. I proposed Rufus or King Shihewiehewie, but we settled on Greg. So, here is “Greg’s” story.

Greg first heard about the Thank You Revolution about a year ago.

“I remember your post about being desperate for a new job and having no network to turn to. That was me. I hated my job, Matt. Hated it. My boss was a tyrant. I swear, every night I went home and was so pissed off. I took a lot of my anger out on my family. My wife finally gave me an ultimatum: leave your job or I’m leaving.”

That’s how bad it was for Greg and his family. He agreed that within 60 days, he would leave his job. But where would he go?

Greg started writing thank you notes. He started writing them to his colleagues, his friends, his small network, his wife, and even his boss.

Yes, his boss.

The one he could not stand. He wrote him a thank you note for the only thing he could think of. His 3% raise that he had just received. A 3% raise was a drop in the bucket, but he said thank you.

What happened next is the kind of thing that drives me to do what I do…

The boss

Greg left the thank you note for his boss under his door. The next morning, his boss came and asked to speak with him.

“I remember not knowing whether I was going to get accused of being after something, brown-nosing, or what,” Greg said. “He had this weird look on this face and asked me to come with him outside.”

At this point, Greg was leery. “Outside? What are we going to do outside? I didn’t like the sound of it, but I’d already agreed to leave and by now I had a few good prospects, so what the heck, right?”

Greg and his boss went for a walk outside. His boss thanked him for the note and then…he completely broke down.

“As in sobbing,” Greg said. “I didn’t know what to do.”

His boss explained that this was the first such note he had ever received. Why was that? he asked himself. Because I suck as a leader, he declared.

He confided in Greg that his wife had left three years ago, right about the time when Greg started. He’d only been promoted 6 months before to lead a division of nearly 300 employees. He was overwhelmed by life and he was taking it out on his team.

The note that Greg wrote…it changed everything. He saw how he had failed as a leader. He was going to get help, personally and professionally.

He also asked Greg to help him as his right-hand man! This was a significant promotion for Greg. From $62,000 a year to more than $120,000 on the low-end. Furthermore, he had hope for his boss.

After discussing the offer with his wife, they agreed to give it a trial period of four months. The four months had their ups and downs, but the man who once called a “tyrant” was becoming a man he respected and even came to like.

Two months ago, Greg, through a twist of “fate” received an email from a friend of an acquaintance of his. Greg had written his acquaintance a handwritten note to congratulate him on appearing in a recent profile in the newspaper. This friend of the acquaintance just happened to be the CEO of another company profiled in the article.

That CEO just signed a $265 million deal with Greg’s company, the largest in the history of the company…by nearly 300%.

Needless to say, Greg benefitted handsomely from that deal.

And boy is he glad he wrote that thank you note to his boss.

That is the power of this discipline, folks. 

Now…a quick favor. Could you share this story with others? Normally I don’t ask that with the Revolution emails, because this is a private list, but this is a story that must get out.

Share here:

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7 thoughts on “How Greg turned one thank you note into a $265,000,000 deal

  1. Lily Kreitinger says:

    I need to stock up on thank you notes 🙂

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      Hey Lily, check out the huge banner just above the related content. I just found out Tiny Prints is having a 50% off thank you notes sale for the next 20 hours.

  2. Jon Stolpe says:

    What a fantastic story! There is tremendous power in gratitude.

  3. Mark Sieverkropp says:

    Wow. Just wow. I can’t say I’ve had that sort of experience, but I’ve had several that are borderline unbelievable given the time and money invested in one little handwritten note…

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