The holiday season is upon us. This is a good time to show those around us how much we care and appreciate their presence in our lives. If you’re anything like me, you’re terrible at giving gifts. I’m just the worse at it. I always want to give the perfect gift for each individual for the right occasion. But doing so is difficult. At least it is for me. But gifts doesn’t always have to be something you buy or even something tangible. Since we’re coming up on the holiday season, I thought I’d share a Christmas leader guide to giving gifts to help you leaders.
Not every leader is in the same situation nor do we all share the same resources. We do what we can with what we have. Those who have more can give more. But having more and giving more doesn’t mean caring more. If your budget are bottomless and you give random gifts, it may not mean as much to those who receives your gift. Although the monetary value of your gift is great, if it’s thoughtless then I can be meaningless.
Depending on what budget and resources you have at your disposal, here are some ideas for you to help you give the most meaningful gifts. Regardless of what you can and do give, make sure that you do it with meaning and purpose. Otherwise you may just be wasting your time and money.
- Bonus – Giving bonus is something that may be out of our control. Depending how well your organization performs, and sometimes how well your specific group performs, you may be able to give bonuses. Giving bonus can be thoughtless if you simply give it without thought. Put in some time and effort into how you distribute bonuses. Don’t simply send your members an email announcement of bonuses. Talk to each member individually. Make it personal and meaningful.
- Splurge – If you have the ability to give with just about limitless budget, you can give quite a bit. You can do a lot for your team members. But remember that if you are not careful, you can also do a lot of harm. If you give random gifts that are great in value, but are completely inappropriate, it will do much more harm than help. In many cases, people judge you on the amount of time and effort they think you put into selecting a gift for them, more than the gift itself. Just because you have a deep pocket, don’t underestimate the true value of the gift itself. Not the monetary value, but the meaningful value.
- Meal – Not being able to give everyone a tangible gift isn’t the end of the world. If you able to take your team out for a mean to show them your appreciation, that may just be enough. Depending on your situation, just this gesture can have great meaning and appreciation for your team. If you can make it more personal by having a more intimate, one on one meal, that’s great. If not, a group even is just as good. It could be anything from breakfast, lunch, brunch to dinner.
- Books – I enjoy reading books and learning from them. I think giving books to professionals are always a great idea. But don’t give random books. Give books that you would put your own stamp of approval on. Something that you’ve read and would personally endorse. Here’s one that I would personally like to give to you. This book literally change me and changed my life. I’ve only given this book away once in my life and it’s to someone who meant a lot to me. And now I’m sharing it with you. The book is Never Eat Alone, authored by Keith Ferrrazzi. You can find the book on Amazon here. This book took me from an introvert who struggle to interact with others and is very socially awkward to someone who is confident to speak with everyone who I come into contact with. I hope you enjoy it and it brings change to your life as much as I have enjoyed it and have changed me.
- Gift Cards – When you have a lot, you can give a lot. But if you don’t have a lot to give, a small amount given in gift cards can also bring meaning. The trick is to not just hand them out randomly. Give with purpose. When you give out the gift cards, make it personal. Make it a moment with meaningful exchange of conversation and gift. The end result will be much greater in value than the gift card itself.
- Quotes – Gifts doesn’t always have to be something tangible. If you spend the time and effort into it, people will recognize your thoughts and what you mean to give. Giving personalized quotes from famous people who are leaders or impactful individuals though out history is a great give you can give. Don’t find one quote and give it out to everyone. Find specific quotes that has personalized meaning to each person you want to give to. Here are some suggestions you may want to consider.
- Nelson Mandela
- Martin Luther King Jr.
- Mark Twain
- Mother Theresa
- Mahatma Gandhi
- Kind words – You would be amazed at what impact simple kind words may have on others. This doesn’t have to be presented in a form of a gift. But just taking the time at the right moment to give kind words to those around you can impactful and meaningful. Choose the right moment and give those who you care about some words that will brighten their holidays. They will appreciate you for it.
*** My Bonus for you – Many of you may remember in the 2000s when the world was hit was the “Dot Com” crash. I certainly remember those days. It was not just difficult, but terrible for everyone. It affected us all professionally and personally. Since all companies were struggling, my company at the time were not different. We struggled and that year, giving bonuses were not on anyone’s mind. I do remember that the leader of our company did something very special for all of us. He gave us all a chance to be millionaires in time of global economic hardship. He bought us all each lottery tickets. The cost of each tickets were minimal. Thought and the value of his gestures were immense. This seems most appropriate this year since we’re all going though similar global hardships. Hope this sparks ideas for you.
If gift giving is stressful for you, it just means that you care. When you struggle over the gift you give, it shows that you care about those who you give to. It also shows that you care about the gift you give them. Hopefully this guide can make it a bit easier for you this year. That is my gift to you. Happy Holidays Everyone!!!
Photo by: Edgar Soto
Denny Nguyen, a veteran IT leader and experienced operational manager with 15+ years working in the software and software related service industry. Currently, Denny oversees global operations of LogiGear including IT infrastructure and services, and facility worldwide and marketing and business development for the APAC region.
Started out as a test engineer, Denny has excelled his career into project management, IT management, account management, customer relation management, and marketing and sales management. In 2004, when LogiGear began to establish its present in Vietnam with two Software Testing & Research centers in Saigon and the third center in 2009 in Danang, Denny was instrumental and the key leader who was chartered to build out the entire foundation and infrastructure for LogiGear to grow for the next twenty years.