How thank-you notes can transform your career

More than exhibiting good manners, taking time each day to express gratitude can enhance your sense of well-being and could even give you a second chance in a professional situation.

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From 2001 to 2011, Douglas Conant transformed Campbell Soup.

As CEO, he took “a beleaguered old brand” (Businessweek’s words, not mine) and turned it into a thriving success in the global food industry. In 10 years at the helm, Conant cut costs and innovated and increased the company’s marketing efforts.

He also wrote 30,000 thank-you notes.

A thoughtful thank-you is more than an Emily Post-type platitude. Make writing thank-you notes a habit, and you will improve your career. It worked for Conant.

It’s also a habit of titans like George H.W. Bush, Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Welch and James Thomas Fallon. You don’t have to commit an hour each day as Conant does, but below are three types of thank-you notes you should be writing. Shoot for one a week.

Don’t be the parent who never said ‘I love you’

Here are the metrics. When Conant took over at Campbell’s, a Gallup poll found that employee engagement at the company was the lowest of any Fortune 500 firm ever polled.

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