Recognition. Let’s be honest. We all want it. Not the insincere praise for doing something rather expected and on time, but truly sincere recognition, validation and acknowledgement that our contributions are appreciated.
Sincere, meaningful recognition, delivered at the right time and by the right person can inspire greater future performance and contributions, oftentimes better and more effectively than an occasional ‘gift card of appreciation’ from the boss. So why is it so rare for supervisors, managers and even upper management to leverage this powerful tool?
Could it be that when they look about the office, walk through the warehouse or make visits to the field, most of what they observe is mediocre performance? Okay…I admit it…that hurt.
Maybe management, as well as, the many hard workers in the plant and within the offices, those forgotten folks as some refer to them, have simply lost their mojo. Is it possible that over the course of the past 10 years, we’ve been lulled into a dark cog-like mantra of “same old thing, different day?”
Maybe it’s time to reassess how we personally define what recognition and validation is. Maybe the true measure should be defined by self-worth and personal commitment to exceed expectations in pursuit of excellence rather than expecting it’s something we receive from others.
But before I dive deeper into what I’m hoping will prove to be a more self-fulfilling appreciation of self and our perceived value, let me pause to state the obvious. All of us, including the co-workers, the supervisors, managers and even upper management can do a better job at disbursing kindness, encouragement and inspiration to each other. True. These are precious and rare gems, but they should not be shared sparingly.
Remember. I’m not talking about the insincere doggie treats that are thrown about like T-shirts from a cannon at a music event. And I’m certainly not talking about an office environment that is constantly in a state of “high-fives.”
I’m talking about actions we can take because we ‘recognize’ a need and desire to fill it. It’s not about pursuing recognition, it’s about being recognized for the pursuits we took. It’s that self-fueled passionate commitment to go above and beyond.
Courage without measure is that compassion to contribute to a cause greater than ourselves, for the sole benefit of others.
These are attributes of character and rare attitudes that lifts and inspires others to demand more of them-selves and to join the movement.
Consider for a moment, President Trump. Whether you like his style or not, is irrelevant for this discussion. It is undeniable, that against all the pundits, pollsters, and naysayers (both on the left and on the right), Donald Trump deserves sincere recognition.
Here’s a man that has multiple successful businesses, has raised, supported, inspired and taught his entire family, to be leaders in their own right, stirred more than half of the American voters to give him an ear, attend his rallies and give him a shot at making a difference.
He employs thousands of employees around the globe, has more than enough money and clout to simply opt-out and chill at 70 years of age, play golf till the sun sets in the west, or simply sit in his home and count one-hundred dollar bills.
So why would he pursue such a daunting, seemingly impossible mission, against all odds, to drain the swamp, revive the American “can-do” spirit; incentivize corporate America to reinvest in American jobs on American soil? Did he blindly step into the ring of fire and constant torment from more foes than you and I could ever bare, for recognition? Of course not.
He did it because he has a passion and a vision for “making America great again,” was willing to go above and beyond, knowing the opposition he would encounter, yet believed he could make a positive difference; was willing to make the personal sacrifice for the greater good, and desired to contribute to a cause greater than himself, for the sole benefit of others.
Regardless of how you or I feel about his tweets, his unique charisma, style or tone, you have to acknowledge that the man is bold, courageous, and unafraid. Three admirable traits of character to be sure.
Like I said earlier but it bares repeating: “It’s not about pursuing recognition, it’s about being recognized for the pursuits we took.”
Maybe the 'Man In the Arena' quote below by Theodore Roosevelt sums this article up best.
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
- Theodore Roosevelt
So you want recognition? Enter the arena.