Gratitude is a Two-Way Street

In our September 2018 newsletter, “Third Time’s a Charm,” we talked about the incredible experience we had seeing The Big Book of HR in the window of Barnes & Noble on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Needless to say, not only were we thrilled with the discovery, but we were so grateful to Cal Hunter, the manager of the business book department, for all he’s done to prominently display our books in that flagship store.

Before venturing over to the store that day in August, we called ahead to make sure he’d be there. We wanted to personally present him with a copy of The Manager’s Answer Book because we’d acknowledged him and his efforts in it. After all, books don’t sell on their own. 

After arriving at the store, I said to Cal, “I can’t thank you enough.” He corrected me.  “No,” he said, “it’s you and Barbara who I should be thanking.  If authors didn’t write great books, we wouldn’t have any to sell.”  When I asked if we could take pictures, he wryly responded, “Of course – this is your house!”  Then he got the store’s social media expert involved so we, the book, and the store – could receive even more coverage.  

Barbara and I know from investigating the publishing industry that this is a big deal. Primary placement for your book is priceless. We achieved it by being gracious and grateful to a savvy businessperson who was equally excited to meet us. Remember when we first met Cal he was looking for more HR books. And when we spoke on the phone that morning, the first thing he said to me is “Your book is doing great for us!” 

The story didn’t end that day in the store. In a follow-up e-mail, Cal expressed his thanks and appreciation to us for being “such authoritative and prolific authors” that allow the Fifth Avenue store “to present our customers with insightful content.” For Cal and his colleagues, it’s about the customer experience. It’s also about teamwork, because he understands that “bookstores exist because of the compelling work” authors do. Bookstores need authors to write books, authors need booksellers to market and sell the books, and both the stores and the authors need readers to buy and read them.  

This holiday season, Barbara and I are grateful for so many things. In our professional lives, we’re grateful to have wonderful people supporting us, like Cal Hunter, and our agent Marilyn Allen, -- we were surprised to learn that they share a long collegial relationship.  And we are especially grateful to you, our readers. Thank you for sharing our journey and supporting us!

And back to Cal’s comment – “this is your house.” Wow, we’ve got real estate on Fifth Avenue!  Well at least the space that our books take up, but we’ll take that and be grateful for it. 

Have a wonderful holiday season, and take some time to express gratitude to the people who support you.

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Managing people is the most challenging part of any leader's day. And that job certainly is not getting any easier. The Big Book of HR will provide any HR professional, manager, or business owner of any size organization the information they need to get the most from their talent. It is filled with information on everything from the most strategic HR-related issues to the smallest tactical detail of how to manage people.