Perhaps one of Maya Angelou’s most well-known quotes is her wise sentence on interpersonal influence:
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
During our firm’s Annual Conference this past weekend, our Gonser Gerber family recognized and thanked Doug Mason for his 31 years of consulting excellence, business leadership, and impacts in the nonprofit world. After providing counsel to the leaders of hundreds of nonprofits and helping guide their efforts to raise hundreds of millions of dollars, Doug has retired.
For those of you reading this who know Doug, you most likely also are aware of his tremendous skills as a consultant, his deep knowledge and expertise, and his keen abilities to provide thoughtful advancement solutions to the thorniest of problems or circumstances.
But, without question, Doug’s most fundamental and impressive ability has been making others feel good. To feel positive. To feel capable. To feel accomplished. To feel worthy.
Listening to the many stories and anecdotes at Doug’s retirement celebration, the one theme that emerged consistently was the gratitude others had for Doug because of how he made them feel. Yes, he helped them from a technical consulting standpoint. But, they specifically recalled his presence during difficult times. They specifically thanked him for the humor he brought during tense moments. They specifically remembered his friendship more than they listed his accomplishments.
I listened to these stories and realized that Doug was teaching me one more lesson as he exited our firm. A lesson we all probably need from time to time. A lesson that makes a difference in all aspects of our lives.
People will remember how we make them feel.
Thanks Doug, for everything.