As we get ready to celebrate Valentines Day, it is estimated that an average of $169 per person will be spent for Valentines Day including cards, flowers, and chocolates.

So what are you as a leader going to give your team members as a gift? Leadership gifts should be personal and come from the heart and help to inspire those around you.

Some examples of leadership gifts that I have seen leaders share with their employees include:

1) Immediately recognize great work and how it demonstrates future potential.
Recently I observed this with the owner of a family business. His customer service rep not only demonstrated great skills with customers but she also demonstrated some leadership skills. He decided to elevate her to a team lead where she quickly thrived in her new position.  Months, not years, later she is now General Manager of the organization. She is thriving and the business owner is now able to focus on the things a President needs to focus on.

Who on your team deserves recognition today? And is there someone on your team who has potential that you haven’t challenged recently to demonstrate potential.

2) Live the company values, don’t just speak them
So often company values are really empty values.  Leadership spends time to develop them and then distributes them to employees and posts them on their website.  Box checked, on to the next exercise. Values need to be lived everyday and leaders need to be demonstrating them through the decisions and actions they take. So the next time you need to make a decision verbalize to your team members how the decision aligns with the values of the company to further reinforce organizational values.

Leadership Tip: To further reinforce values, integrate an exercise during your weekly meetings that gets employees to share an action that they observed of another employee which ties back to one of your values.

3) Take time to coach and develop your employees
Your time as a leader is probably the most valuable resource you have so when you give some of that time to help coach employees you are showing them you care. One of the skills that great leaders develop is that of coaching.  In the most simplistic terms, coaching is asking the right questions to get employees to discover options in solving a problem that they may not have considered in the past. When done well, coaching allows the employee to self reflect on self- limiting beliefs and dig deeper into the problem they are trying to solve.

A book that I recommend leaders to learn more about coaching is The Coaching Manager by Hunt and Weintraub

Recognition, Values, and Development are just three gifts that you as a leader can give to your employees. And when employees receive regular leadership gifts they are likely to be more engaged and thus more productive which in turn is a gift to you as a leader.

Image Credit: The Stock Exchange ( User: standardup