Whether it’s a private gathering or a joyous public event, everyone likes to celebrate accomplishments. Yet this is a skill that is so often lacking in leaders. There is just this expectation that the individuals on your team will know you are excited about what they have accomplished. In fact, in many cases, the leader interacts with the team member only when corrective action needs to take place. There is no room for cheering.
Knowing when a goal/milestone is reached and celebrating can really inspire followers to do more and to stretch more. I am a firm believer that team members should be recognized for “firsts” – their first 3 way call, their first presentation, their first sponsorship, their first rank advancement and so on. I love to see and hear the joy in their voices when that recognition is expressed. I recognize my team accomplishments in emails, on team calls, and in social media. I am also just as likely to send them a small token of their success like flowers. I do make sure that I know what they like as I wrote in Becoming a Leader: Leadership Skill #4 Inspire Your Team. It is almost worst to recognize the individual in a way that doesn’t inspire them than to not do it at all.
This brings me to our introverted, shy team members. Now I know that there are folks for whom public recognition is scary and unwanted. With these folks, I make sure that a private note (personal and handwritten) is sent to them for their accomplishment, again with an appropriate token.
Recognizing “firsts” is not to say that subsequent accomplishments should not be celebrated. However, the big wins are often the only recognition that someone receives, such as winning a car, a special bonus or a trip. Think carefully and recognize often. Even when you think you are doing this to excess, your team members, when asked, will probably say there is not enough. You must be authentic in your recognition,n and it can’t move from person to person without real results. This type of recognition is hollow and will usually de-motivate the team.
With the skills outlined so far, does becoming a leader appear to be a daunting task? Are you ready to stop being reluctant and to step into your leadership voice? As I talked about nature versus nurture, I know that leadership can be taught and cultivated in individuals. It is like the mighty oak that grows from a small acorn. You might never believe it can happen and yet, there is proof all around. I can take you on that journey to realizing your potential as a visionary leader of a powerful tribe of followers. Let me be your guide and teacher – take the first step in The Art of Herding Cats: Leading Teams of Leaders.
Something else I have learned as a business woman is to ask for what you want. If you loved what you just read, this content is not for free. As a form of payment, I am asking you simply to comment or share this on Facebook or tweet about it on Twitter.
Linda Patten, MBA, BSN, RN has over 30 years of experience leading women to success in building and achieving their dreams. She turns networking marketing women from product sellers to leaders of highly functioning teams. To learn more about her innovative programs, click on Contact Us.