She was doing a poor job fighting back the tears and this made me very uncomfortable. Tears always do, either theirs or mine. The conversation didn’t start off heavy, but we wandered through the woods a bit. What became apparent as we talked was that the tears were in response to a certain kind of frustration and a certain kind of sadness. She had offered up her time and her effort and her soul and she hadn’t been properly recognized or rewarded. In fact, she had been insulted. This was my fault. This was my predecessor’s fault. This was our organization’s culture at fault. It was a long time coming. In general, I don’t think we do enough as leaders to recognize and reward our people for the work they do. Many of us are quick to reprimand for the slightest error and slow to reward the biggest accomplishment. We have it backwards, and it is harming our ability to lead. What if we changed that dynamic? What if we looked for everything that was right, and minimized the wrong? What would happen?
Future leader speaker and author of the book Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future. Free stuff! Get the first five chapters of my new book, an executive summary, and the Future Leader Companion Workbook here.