One challenge that I continually see with managers and supervisors is that recognition and celebration for great results is limited. While most managers and supervisors understand the importance of and are open to giving recognition, they simply don’t. They get caught in the daily beast of tactical operations and miss the opportunity, or say to themselves “ I will do it tomorrow”.

One of the better newspaper articles I’ve read was an experiment to determine if ordinary people would recognize great work of others?
Watch the video clip below and determine if what you see is great work.

Did you watch the video or did you rush ahead to continue reading? Hopefully you took the time to watch Joshua Bell, an internationally recognized, Grammy award winning violinist. He made an unexpected appearance at a Washington DC metro station. For approximately one hour, he played some of the greatest and most demanding classical music for nearly 1,100 people. He played these fine pieces of music on his rare and coveted Stradivarius violin, worth close to $3.5 million dollars. Of those 1,100 people, only 7 individuals stopped long enough to listen. The entrance fee for this rare and intimate performance was simply time and recognition of great work.

As leaders, managers, or supervisors, who get results, do you acknowledge who those who put forth a great performance? It is my belief that if we paused long enough to recognize great work and reinforce the behaviors of those with great performance, it will be repeated. Conversely, if we don’t see the value of people who are improving, or give lack luster recognition and celebration, organizations will continue to be average, often in survival mode with little drive and motivation from employees.

It’s an old epistemological debate, older, actually, than the koan about the tree in the forest. Plato weighed in on it, and philosophers for two millennia afterward: What is beauty? Is it a measurable fact (Gottfried Leibniz), or merely an opinion (David Hume), or is it a little of each, colored by the immediate state of mind of the observer (Immanuel Kant)?

The full article, written by Gene Weingarten titled Pearls for Breakfast was published in the Washington Post. To read the article in its entirety, click here.

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About the Author
Chris Stowell
Christopher Stowell is currently serving as CMOE’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing where he works with multi-national organization to develop their people. His special interests lie in coaching teamwork, strategy, e-learning, and assessment design, and delivery. Chris has a special talent in helping companies assess their organizational effectiveness and identifying key issues and opportunities in order to advance their performance and achieve long term results. Additionally, he has extensive experience in designing, coordinating, and facilitating customized adventure based experiential training events for high performance teams.

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