Well, the answer is yes…and no. Who doesn’t need to know that they are appreciated on occasion? However, when it comes to leadership, there is a clear difference in styles – and success – between those that need to “hear” the applause and those that “feel” the sense of accomplishment in order to be fulfilled. That’s not to say that an “atta girl” every now and then doesn’t help, just that leading by way of waiting for recognition at every turn is doing you, your co-workers and employees, and company a terrible disservice.
The question really lies in the purpose of your work. As a manager, one of our tasks is to guide the emotional aspects of our people and companies as a component of goal attainment. If we wrap ourselves up in our own need for recognition, how can we provide the leadership and focus required to draw our teams to buy-in and ultimately contribute to our company’s growth and development? The sign of an insecure executive is one who makes the mistake of believing that any success has to have their name on it. The best leaders are not those with the most framed awards on the walls, instead they are the ones who get the most done and celebrate the efforts of those that helped to achieve the goal.
Your success as a leader so often depends on those you surround yourself with. By making sure that the team that is helping you to reach your or your company’s goals is celebrated, you boost their morale, mood, productivity and, in the end, respect for your leadership. In preparing for the next challenge you or your company will face, having the team in your corner certainly can’t hurt!
As the engineer of your company’s goals you must have clear vision and communicate that to your team, foster open dialogue and idea sharing, encourage innovation and acknowledge it when you see/hear it, inspire them to risk-taking, and step out of the way and let your people contribute and perform.
Inspiring directors who possess keen foresight, thrive on creativity both in problem solving and business development, are sincere, open and honest, and are great team builders and leaders will get their applause. They will win the recognition of their peers, industry and most importantly, their team so that their work and life will be more fulfilling. And don’t worry…those who are responsible for creating the environment that nurtures collaboration, imagination, courage, confidence, and teamwork won’t go unnoticed!
This quote from an unknown source fits this discussion exceptionally well:
Work for a cause…Not for applause.
Live life to express…Not to impress.
Don’t strive to make you presence noticed…Just make your absence felt.