I had a wonderful neighbor years ago that I loved to talk with while she tended her flower gardern. One day she said to me, “Do you know what I like best about you? You speak so well of others. You talk so well of your wife. You share the joys of your work. You recommend your friends to others. That’s a wonderful quality.” While I enjoyed the compliment, I also thought long and hard about her words, and I wondered why more people don’t do the same.
One of the greatest joys of being a leader comes when we have an opportunity to recognize others for their hard work. Recognizing is important and something all leaders should do. Recognizing and promoting are not, however, the same. Recognizing could be accomplished in private, but when we promote someone, well, that is the ultimate form of recognition because you are attaching yourself to it and sharing it publicly.
My mom would always compliment my artwork, but the greatest memories I remember were when she hung it on the fridge, or told her friends about it. I loved that. I still do. So… hang someone’s work on the proverbial fridge and promote them.
Don’t promote others expecting something in return for yourself. It very likely will happen, but that is the wrong reason to do it. Promote others because you are genuinely impressed with their work. Make note, however, when you promote the work of others routinely it always benefits you down the road. It doesn’t benefit you occassionaly, it benefits you regularly, but again, that’s not why you do it, and you can’t do it occassionally. Your promotion of others needs to become a part of your leadership style.
And once you get a reputation for promoting the work of others, you won’t believe the work people do for you! (Click “Read More” to find out how to really apply this leadership skill.)