Posts Tagged recognition

If You Admire Someone, Speak Up

applauseWho do you admire? Perhaps you know someone who has overcome some extreme personal challenges or has shown himself to be particularly true to his morals and an example to others. Take a moment and think of at least one person who has impressed you with their actions or kindness. Have you ever told that person you admire them? If you haven’t, you should.

There are many people I admire. One in particular is a very close friend of my family who has filled a role similar to an aunt to me since I was about ten-years-old. She and her husband lived an amazing balance of just enough planning for the future and living in the present. Their story is one marked by his chronic illness and struggle for health. We lost him suddenly late last year just before his 60th birthday, and it rocked our community.

Last year on Christmas I stuck a note into my friend’s purse while we were celebrating. She found it the next day and loved it so much she showed it to my mom, who was a little choked up when she told me. It was simple but important because I had never told her just what her example means to me.

In the note I told her that I aspire to be more like her in that she doesn’t make a big fuss over day-to-day life. When we were kids, she was the mom who said, “Whoever wants to go to the beach, put on your suit and grab a towel; we’re leaving in ten minutes”. She always kept things simple. I love that she can embrace whatever is good right now, even when she is dealing with some pretty terrible things that she cannot control. And she always finds a way to give of herself and make the people in her life feel valued.

Part of what makes my friend’s example so meaningful to me is that I struggle with some similar challenges. It doesn’t always look easy but I can see she is trying and making the best of what she has. I have struggled with my own husband’s injury, the limitations it has created, and the difference in both of us since it occurred. I have often thought I am no match for this task.

Leadership is about being an example in the way you live. It is about living in a way that makes you happy and proud. And it is about learning from challenges and mistakes. Leadership means showing those around you who you want to be in the hope that they may be inspired to live up to their own potential. My friend is a great example to her community, her daughters, and those of us who have grown up around her family. She is no doubt, an inspiration to those she works with and the people she serves in her role at work. She has the ability to effortlessly show care for those around her.

When working for the government, the opportunities to reward employees financially are limited. Telling someone you admire or are inspired by them might be even more meaningful than a financial reward. We all have our own stories that include personal struggle. It is important to be tuned into what those around us face because it helps to build understanding. The very best leaders take time to get to know what is important to their people.

Who inspires you and when was the last time you told them why?

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How Motivated Are You?

Let’s face it; there are some days when you are just not that motivated.  We’ve all seen the commercial on television where the guy is out with friends and asks a raspy-voiced woman to call his place of employment to say he will be out sick for the day.  While the commercial is all in good fun, for some people, calling in “sick” can be a sigh of relief when they lack motivation or passion in their role.

Motivation is a skill that can be taught, learned, developed, and nurtured.

So what motivates people to excel in their job and truly enjoy what they do?

Dr. Drea Zigarmi and Susan Fowler with The Ken Blanchard Companies have been researching what exactly motivation and passion mean to individuals and how they can leverage both to improve their state of mind at their workplace.

Employee passion is the positive emotional state of mind resulting from our own perceptions of worthwhile work, autonomy, collaboration, growth, fairness, recognition, connectedness to our colleagues, and connectedness to our leader, all of which lead to standards of behavior that include effort, long-term commitment to the agency, peak performance, low turnover, and increased tenure with the agency.  Motivation increases the probability of employee passion that results in three intentions highly valued by any agency:

  • The intent to stay, support, and use good judgment on behalf of the agency
  • The plan to perform at or above expectations
  • The willingness to demonstrate organizational citizenship behavior

Want to learn more?  Drea and Susan will be discussing the results of their cutting-edge research and the implications on how we work and lead within the workplace on June 1st in Washington, DC.  They will also be sharing key skills needed to engage employees and sustain optimal motivation and employee passion.

Registration is currently open for this briefing.

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