Leading Blog






08.14.06

The Recognition Deficit

g w carver
George Washington Carver wrote, "How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these."

Understanding and encouragement will take people further than almost anything else you can do for them. Followers want recognition for their contribution. It is one of those things that have incredible leverage. The small investment on your part is greatly exceeded by the impact it has on someone’s life. Not only in that person’s life but the lives of those they come into contact with. It has a rippling effect.

Considering its value, it’s amazing how little it is done. Frankly, if it were considered more of a priority in the leader’s agenda it would happen more. Yet without it, any leader’s effectiveness is diminished. It has to become an integral part of what we do. In Why Should Anyone Be Led by You? the authors comment:
There are some particularly aggressive corporate cultures where the imperative is to “just do it.” Recognition is for wimps. All our experience is that effective leaders find ways to break through those barriers.

During his long tenure as CEO and chairman of GE, Jack Welch was well known for his handwritten notes. [D]espite his colossal workload, Welch made the time to jot down a few well-chosen words of recognition. He knew how important it was. The great thing about a handwritten note, of course, is that it is both highly personalized and lasting.
Do you make people feel that their contribution is important? That they personally matter to the goals of the organization? It is what will make your efforts more effective.

Everyone is in need of encouragement. Actress Celeste Holm summed up the issue well, “We live by encouragement and we die without it; slowly, sadly, angrily.”

Posted by Michael McKinney at 10:26 AM
| Comments (0) | Leadership



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