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A Man Left His Wallet On a Plane. When He Got It Back, He Learned an Incredible Lesson in Making People Feel Good

Who does this? Perhaps more people should. Yes, even in busines

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BY Chris Matyszczyk - 25 Nov 2018

wallet left on plane

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.

 

As we stagger away from Thanksgiving, we're grateful that being grateful allows us to eat a lot of food, drink several libations and buy things for less than they used to cost.

Along the way, we offer gestures of kindness toward our families. Because, oh, why not?

In business, however, we can often lurch toward kindness being superfluous. Unless it gets us something, that is.

However, simply making people feel good -- without any expectation of recompense -- is not only a fine management technique. It's also an excellent approach toward your customers.

If they feel good about the product or service you offer, they come back. Employees are like that too.

Which leads me to a strange occurrence on a Frontier Airlines flight.

As Jeannie Shamatt described on Facebook, her son Hunter left his wallet on the plane.

What could be more annoying? Inside was his ID, his debit card and his signed paycheck.

Oh, and $60.

He wasn't going to see those again, was he? Especially the $60.

Oddly, though, a package arrived in the mail. Inside was a letter that described where the anonymous (at the time) finder had found the wallet -- trapped between the seat and the wall.

Miraculously, everything was still inside.

But there was something more.

As the sender -- Shamatt subsequently revealed his name was Todd Brown and he lives with his wife in Omaha -- explained:

PS: I rounded your cash up to an even $100 so you could celebrate getting your wallet back. Have fun!!!

Please imagine the sender's thought process. They knew that adding the extra money would be a heartwarming surprise for Hunter Shamatt.

They could, I'm sure, imagine how he'd react when he opened the wallet.

But the sender wanted nothing other than to do something uplifting.

In any business, managers offer rewards specifically for those who have done something good.

Many managers, though, are less keen to simply do something good for the sake of it.

A positive surprise with no strings attached can often be valued above any other. Why? Because it feels genuine.

Recently, I wrote about a woman who, for no reason other than to make a stranger feel good, bought the person behind her at the drive-thru a coffee.

She and that stranger are now friends.

San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is one who understands what being genuine means.

He might seem irascible on the court, but, after a loss, some players say he takes the team out to dinner rather than rant and rave. (He rants and raves when they win.)

It's said that millennials are especially looking for some authenticity in their lives.

What could be more authentic than, just once in a while, making another human being feel good without any expectation of so much as a response?

I know it's unlikely to catch on, but hey, I'm sentimental at heart.

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