Each holiday season there are dozens of articles written about the gifts leaders should give their employees, and for good reason. Leaders should always think about meaningful, creative ways to recognize the accomplishments of their team members. But what if you want to give a gift to a leader in your company or a high-achiever in your family?
CEOs, executives, and leaders at any level can be difficult to shop for. Their focus on guiding others can sometimes make it difficult to discern their personal wishes. If you want to show gratitude for a leader you respect and admire, choose a gift that’s useful, thought provoking, and representative of the hard work that person does every day. Here are a few simple gifts that can make a big impression.
Sometimes the leader you’re shopping for isn’t keen on accumulating more stuff. Whether they have the resources to buy all they want or just have a minimalist mindset, a donation made in their name to a cause they support could delight them more than any physical gift. It’s a simple gesture that shows support for the causes that the leaders in your life care about.
I may be biased because I work in publishing, but I believe that books are one of the most powerful gifts you can give. Leaders are lifelong learners, and the majority of them will be excited to explore new ideas. As you plan your gift, don’t limit yourself to prescriptive, industry-specific titles. Engaging nonfiction on overcoming worldwide challenges, compelling biographies, and even beautifully designed classic novels are all thoughtful choices that can stimulate the active mind of a leader.
While they might seem dull at first glance, journals are elegant blank canvases to jot down ideas, keep track of to-do lists, or think through complicated situations in writing. Journals strike a balance between creativity and function. Unless your leader prefers to keep track of everything digitally, a journal won’t collect dust on a shelf of gifts the person doesn’t use. For an added touch, you can find websites that will add the person’s initials or your company logo to the cover.
4) Personal Thank-you Letters
This last item should accompany one of the suggestions above, but I include it to emphasize the power of a personal message. Leaders thrive on authentic connections, and there are few better ways to express gratitude and encouragement than through a handwritten note. Try to include specific achievements that person has accomplished in the past year or the qualities they possess that you admire. They may or may not keep the letter itself, but the recognition will stick with them for a long time.
When you’re at a loss to find a gift for someone who you consider a leader, it can be tempting to default to gift cards or other impersonal items. If you strive to give gifts that enrich the work leaders do every day, your gratitude and thoughtfulness will encourage them to continue the great work they do in the coming year.