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    The importance of the viral Jordan Spieth thank-you note

    Jordan Spieth is not only the epitome of the athlete who can perform at the highest levels — people also like him.
    Matt Sullivan/Getty Images
    Jordan Spieth is not only the epitome of the athlete who can perform at the highest levels — people also like him.

    This past weekend, 21-year-old Jordan Spieth captured the 2015 Masters title with an extraordinary performance. Since the inception of the tournament, he is the only golfer to reach 19 strokes under par at The Masters. Unfortunately, he bogeyed the final hole of the tournament and had to settle for tying Tiger Woods’s record of 18 under for the tournament. Still, it’s an incredible accomplishment.

    As amazing as his Masters performance was, the story that keeps coming to the fore is about what a truly nice guy he is. He is not only the epitome of the athlete who can perform at the highest levels — people also like him. Phil Mickelson said it best right after the round when he was asked about Spieth: “He’s obviously a tremendous player, but he’s just a tremendous individual, too. He’s really been a lot of fun to have on the past Ryders Cup and Presidents Cup teams. He’s just a quality individual. I think it’s hard not to like, not to pull for, the guy.”

    That’s high praise. What makes Spieth who he is goes well beyond his time on the PGA tour. It’s part of him, part of his upbringing, part of the values his parents instilled in him. Evidence of this surfaced with a thank-you note he wrote in high school.

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    He had been awarded a scholarship as a junior in high school at Dallas Jesuit. Much has been written about his dream of winning The Masters, which he mentions in the note. But what is really impressive is that he wrote the note — not a perfunctory thank you but a genuine, heartfelt thank you that addressed the importance of academics as well as golf in his teenage world.

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    That note was written not because it would go viral one day but to express gratitude for an opportunity.

    Thank-you notes matter because they reflect that you are someone who knows how to show appreciation for a gift, a favor, or an opportunity. It is such a simple device, yet they help us to build relationships in ways we may not even imagine. We should all take a lesson from Spieth on how to write a thank-you note that demonstrates genuine appreciation in the moment.

    Read the note below:

    Related coverage:

    On golf: Jordan Spieth is a champ on and off the course

    Jordan Spieth wins Masters, redeems himself

    E-mail questions about business etiquette to etiquetteatwork@emilypost.com.