The Impact You May Never Know (Matt McWilliams)

Today, I’m honored to present Matt McWilliams.  Matt writes an incredible blog about leadership and life.  And he has become a great friend, and he is a revolutionary.  He started the Thank You Revolution that has helped many leaders and businesses including mine.  I’m humbled and privileged to share Matt’s words today.  For more information about Matt, check out his bio at the end of the post – then head over to his blog for more great encouragement.

The Impact You may Never Know

 It’s time I came clean.

I’ve been keeping a secret from Jon Stolpe for way too long.

He is the reason I started a movement. He is the reason I started the Thank You Revolution.

Not the hundreds of thank you notes I’ve written over the years. Not the hundreds of responses I got. Not the even the prospect of turning it into a money-making venture.

None of those led me to start a movement.

But Jon did.

Last December, he wrote a guest post on my blog about the impact that a single idea had on him. Go ahead and read his post. I’ll wait while you do.

When I first wrote about thank you notes, I did not intend to start anything official. I had no delusions that hundreds of people would subscribe to a weekly newsletter about thank you notes. No idea that I would write a book or get the opportunity to speak publicly, do podcasts, or write elsewhere about something I am so passionate about.

Until he wrote that guest post.

Jon’s post inspired me. It made me realize how big this idea was. And I wanted to make it bigger.

That’s the impact we have on others when we share the impact they have on us.

It starts a cycle.

Here’s how it looks:

Image source:

Imagine thousands or even millions of circles forming all over the world simply because one person shared the impact that another had on him or her.

That is the power of letting others know that we appreciate their work and the positive impact it had on us.

The people who encourage and inspire you…they need the same. They need your stories.

I encourage you to practice this right away.

  • Thank your pastor after the message this Sunday. Tell him how a recent message impacted your life. (Or write him a note that arrives mid-week to lift his spirits)
  • Write an author to share how his book saved your marriage or grew your business.
  • Tell your wife how much her loving voicemail meant to you.
  • Do you remember your first customer? (You should!) Tell him or her how much their business means to you.
  • Share with others how much one employee’s efforts have helped the team.
  • Tell your kid’s how inspired you were when they offered their shoes to a girl without shoes (true story with our two-year old)

And then do something with it. Act on it. Tell someone else. Spread the word.

Share the message.

Give someone a copy of the book.

Leave a voicemail for your spouse.

Give the customer or employee a gift.

Deliver shoes to those who don’t have any.

Don’t miss an opportunity to say “thank you” and “here’s how this helped me.” You impact not only that person, but everyone else they will inspire as well.

Who has inspired you? What can you do to say “thank you” to him or her?

BIO: Matt McWilliams is a blogger and thought leader at, where he writes about life, leadership, and love…learned the hard way. He likes to tweet about business, leadership, family, and the Red Sox at @MattMcWilliams2 (don’t forget the 2 or you get an egg).