O Canada! What an NBA franchise can teach us about graciousness.
Last week marked the first time Kawhi Leonard made a visit to his former team, the Toronto Raptors. He was greeted with open arms, standing ovations and a heartwarming video tribute. Seeing how he helped bring Toronto it’s first NBA championship it seemed only right to do so.
Often, when an athlete leaves town and returns with their current team, they are greeted with jeers, boos, and vitriol. Granted part of it is the allure of the villain story, but it often feels a little over the top. The Raptors and their fans showed the utmost grace, dignity, and appreciation to someone who only played for them for a single season. But what a season it was! I can only imagine how nice it was for current players to see the gratitude their “company” had for a former employee.
Numerous times I have seen people visit their former employers only to be met with apathy or even disdain. Granted not all of them won "championships" but they are still people. A warm smile and big hello never hurt! When an old employee visits, a team will often take the lead from their manager. Does he or she greet this person warmly or with a cold shoulder? Even if their departure wasn't under the best of circumstances it doesn't negate the work they did.
Employees will often go the extra mile when they feel appreciated and feel like the organization that employes them knows how to show appreciation. Even if your company doesn’t have an official employee of the month award, a bonus plan, etc you can still show appreciation to your team. Be it by buying them a token gift or just stating it outright in a sincere manner, a show of appreciation goes a long way.
Raptor: A vicious carnivorous dinosaur, and gracious NBA franchise!