This week I read an interesting opinion from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the accomplished professional basketball player.
He was asked how he feels when someone surpasses his athletic records.
His words convey excitement in what humans are able to do. Further, he describes that he is cheering them onward.
In our businesses, do we celebrate when people surpass our records?
As leaders, we can build that graciousness in the attitudes of our teammates in three ways.
First, when someone exceeds a group-, company-, or industry-wide record, we should praise them in the same size or larger environment that the award was earned. Don’t honor a company-wide record setter only in a small group meeting. Don’t honor a group-wide record setter with only a private phone call.
Second, give some verbal and visual praise to the previous record holder(s) in that new ceremony. For instance, have the previous achiever of the group’s top monthly sales revenue present the award to the newer recipient in the ceremony.
And third, publicly acknowledge people in a consistent way.
If the top recruiter in your local area is announced during your monthly team training and is called to the front of the room, and their picture and explanation of the award is posted by your group leader on social media the next day, be consistent in that amount of recognition for the future winners of that award.
Don’t let “not enough time” cut the award ceremony short for one person. Don’t wax poetic about the February winner but only write two factual sentences about the March honoree. Don’t introduce a female recipient as “a beautiful and charming mompreneur” while the male counterpart is “a focused and inspiring leader.”
Each person is unique. However, the quality of recognition counts… and speaks volumes about the attitudes of the group.
–LYnn Selwa, “The Rocket Science Coach” ™
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