Leadership and Recognition

“Recognition is the one resource that you can always provide, regardless of the economy, the budget, the weather, or the stock market.”

Larysa Slobodian

Recently I attended a marvelous event. It was a dinner to celebrate the welcoming of associates into the partnership of a business. To put this into context, this achievement was a huge deal. It is the utmost promotion and endorsement of a person in this organization and profession. I want to share with you two observations and appreciations that I had during this evening that I believe translate to leadership.

The beginning of the event was lovely. All new partners were greeted upon arrival with a special gift, a notice that they were special.

The evening went on to a formal dinner and one by one, each honoree was recognized by an elder of the organization. There was some good fun and joking, followed by recognition of each honoree’s amazing work professionally. Then each elder noted something very special about that person that made the honoree a special human being. Not just a worker but a special human being and the impact that they have had on others. It was lovely. It was important. It was not at the cost of anybody in the room. There, in this private dining room of all these highly accomplished people with multiple professional degrees, people were recognizing the good in people and the impact that their goodness has had on other people. I felt priviledged to be in this room of good people and warm hearts.

As an attendee, I had a chance to meet several of the honorees. I congratulated them on their achievement. Each one graciously accepted my congratulations with a thank you and a smile. This “thank you” is another act of leadership. Nobody avoided my acknowledgement or downplayed his or her achievement. They acknowledged my recognition of them and their work and said thank you. Not one of them played small, dismissed my congratulations or changed the subject. Nor did they act arrogantly or brag about how much work they did to get to their “win”. A gracious thank you, an acceptance of my offering, and a smile.

In this world that we live in today, it is easy to get lost in all the challenges that we constantly face. It is easy to turn on the news or read the paper and believe that the sky is falling right now. Leadership is about doing what is right, which sometimes, often times, is hard. To call attention to what is good during a time when everybody wants to talk about what’s bad is in fact hard. And yet, I invite you to do it anyway. Find an opportunity to recognize somebody for their work, their effort, their presence in your life. Maybe it is not just one person. Maybe it is an entire group or division in your company. Maybe it’s you.. Take a moment. It can be short and simple, just make it real. And if you are blessed by someone who takes the time to recognize you, look at them, take in the recognition and thank them.

Recognition is the one resource that you can always provide, regardless of the economy, the weather, the budget or the stock market. Share it liberally. Accept it graciously.

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