There is something special that happens when you see people lifted up for their accomplishments. Most people are truly happy for those who have been recognized and it creates a sense of community not easily broken. It also generates much excitement as people think about the possibilities in their own lives.
Lately, I’ve witnessed several different examples of public recognition that not only make my heart swell with pride and happiness for the recipients, but also gain more respect for those giving the recognition. As I was sitting in a Business Review meeting yesterday, I watched as one leader continually put the focus back on members of her team–she was ultimately accountable for success or failure, but made sure those in the room knew that her team was making it happen. I found myself shooting emails to several people who’d been bragged on in the meeting, and each person replied with joy, knowing that they had been recognized. And today, we had our quarterly All-Employee Meeting where annual performance and core values awards were given out. I teared up as I watched several of my coworker friends be lifted up for their hard work, perseverance, and innovation. The room was electric with the happy hearts of those who’d been awarded and those who got to be a part of the celebration.
Here are some lessons I’ve learned having been both the giver and receiver of recognition:
1.Hard work Does pay off-It doesn’t take a genius IQ, a magnetic personality, or living at the office to be seen as someone worth moving up the ladder. But getting in the trenches, showing people you want to learn, and treating others as you want to be treated are surefire ways to get noticed.
2. Being true to who you are Will set you up for success-Sucking up only gets you so far. Sure, it can work, but only to the person you’re sucking up to (meanwhile no one else can stand you). Being real is harder, but in the end frees you up to live out your goals.
3. Recognition breeds loyalty-Mark Schoenwald, our President at Thomas Nelson, is one of the most authentic, people-focused, consistent leaders I’ve worked for. He makes time to connect with people, is an open and consistent communicator, and makes it a priority to never miss an opportunity to brag on others. I’d follow him most anywhere because he’s earned my respect in spades.
4. Recognizing others lifts you up too-It takes confidence in yourself as a leader to step out of the spotlight and give credit to others. And in doing so, you earn respect and credibility.
Make it a point today to lift up someone publicly. You will make their day, and that will make yours.
“Don’t worry when you aren’t recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.”-Abraham Lincoln