How often are you thankful to your steady and able hand that has served you for years? or to your car or to your doctor or to your admin or to many other things which hum ceaselessly to make our life comfortable.
Why is that we fail to acknowledge the value of things when they are doing just well? Why do we fail to take a moment to say 'thank you' when it is long overdue for a job done as expected?
What we do when something that has been working flawlessly for years fails suddenly for no fault? We just blow up and curse 1000 times more than we should have praised when things were going just fine.
"I did bad once and was blamed for ever. I did good many times and was praised never."
Not recognizing people and things, when they are doing well but without much fan fare, is one of the most important habits we can cultivate. It only makes them to deliver more. It always helps to have a small thanksgiving time everyday to list and say thanks to everything that we can come up with for that day to be thankful for.
It is an irony that quiet achievers get less recognition than pyrotechnicians everywhere. Have you ever seen a quiet, enterprising, meticulous, hardworking, dependable person getting praised as much as he should to be? Very very rarely. On the other hand, how often we have not seen people holding organizations to ransom because they are the only ones who can save the organization from crisis at that moment. In fact, in many cases, pyrotechnicians are the very reason the crisis started in the first place. If they were to cooperate with people who were planning and executing well, chances are this situation would not have happened. These are pyrotechnicians. They create all snafus because of their unwillingness to plan and execute meticulously and when things blow up in the face, work long hours, weekends to extinguish the fire which if not extinguished can take the organization down. Over time, these people tend to become more important than the organization itself. No rules apply to them. These kind people can be found in all levels in the organization. When these people become managers they create negative leverage. There are 10 people wasting their time because this hero manager is trying to do everything on his own which is making it impossible for him or her to spend adequate time with his or her people. Without the boss spending adequate time, people get frustrated to say the least and that's how you get negative leverage.
Many smart managers recognize the importance of not starting the fire in the first place. Jack Welch, legendary ex-CEO of GE, praises these worker bees a lot in his books. Ram Sharan and Larry Bossily titled their best selling book "Execution. The art of getting things done." These are excellent books. Both highlight how important it is to have people who may be intellectually mediocre but once you tell them what to do they can do it so well that it comes with all t's crossed and all i's dotted. Celebrate such people. Do not embarrass them as most of them are quite humble and shy. First learn whether if there prefer to be praised in private. Regardless make those people feel important at least a few times even when they are just delivering what is expected out of them. You can immediately see dramatic improvement in their productivity. It also helps the team.
These are also the people who need to be protected from corporate bullies. Like other people worker bees also make mistakes sometimes. But, when managers come down heavily on these poor souls for their mistakes, they lose confidence in their own abilities. That is really criminal. All these people had was their superb execution skills. Lack of confidence introduces diffidence and these people start thinking more and more before acting. Paralysis by over analysis is what follows and careers are destroyed and lives are wasted.
Always remember - ideas do not move mountains. Bulldozers do. For every good idea, you will need 10 solid executioners to realize it. Corporations need more and more flawless executioners. With people working hard and smart, you can achieve great leverage from your visionaries who are your idea factories. They deliver solid ideas by dozens and you have an army of flawless executioners who can get the things done.
Take time to be thankful to all those people and things which if stop humming can literally mean end of life for you.
How often we are thankful to our heart? If it only errs once, we are dead or almost dead.
Slow and steady wins the race. We should celebrate people who win the race.
Heroes create big splashes. Many times their splashes accomplish nothing more than getting people around them soaking wet. How often such people are a wet blanket on rest of the team with their bad attitude, lack of team spirit, my way or no way attitude? Many smart managers have gotten rid of such people even when it meant short term pains. You have to amputate your leg if is infected with gangrene. Otherwise, for the sake of leg, you would lose your life.
There should be a 'world worker bee' day.
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