Last Updated on 7 April 2011

Sand for Your Inbox
April 2010

There are many versions of the advice, “Surround yourself with great people – and you’ll get great things.” However, it isn’t enough just to surround yourself, you must also take care and nurture the people that surround you.

Here is a great example of nurturing, from the pages of the book, The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz. I hope you enjoy this month’s Sand for Your Inbox…

Don’t Hog Glory, Invest It Instead

Just recently I was a guest at an all-day sales convention. After dinner that evening the vice-president in charge of sales for the company passed out awards to the two district managers, a man and a woman, whose sales organizations had attained the best records for the year just ended. The vice president asked those district managers to take 15 minutes to tell the entire group how their organization did so exceptionally well.

The first district manager (who, I learned later, had been appointed a manager only three months before and therefore only partially responsible for his organization’s record) got up and explained how he did it.

He conveyed the impression that his efforts and his efforts alone caused the sales increase. Remarks such as, “When I took over I did such-and-such”; “Things were in a mess but I cleared them up”; “It wasn’t easy but I just grabbed hold of the situation and wouldn’t let go” characterized his talk.

As he talked, I could see the increasing resentment gathering in the faces of his salespeople. They were being ignored for the sake of the district manager’s personal glory. Their hard work, which was responsible for the sales increase, was completely unrecognized.

Then, the second district manager got up to make her short talk. But this lady used an entirely different approach. First, she explained that the reason for her organization’s success was the whole-hearted effort of her sales force. Then she asked each one to stand and paid a sincere personal compliment to each for his or her efforts.

Note this difference; the first manager squandered the vice-president’s praise entirely on himself. In doing so, he offended his own people. His sales force was demoralized. The second passed the praise on to her sales force where it could do more good. This manager knows that praise, like money, can be invested to pay dividends. She knew that the passing the credit on to her sales people would make them work even harder next year.

Remember, praise is power. Invest praise you receive from your superior. Pass praise to your team where it will encourage still greater performance. When you share praise, your team will know you sincerely appreciate their value.

One stipulation to this story – investing praise must be genuine. If the second district manager said those things without meaning it, she’s as bad as the first. I’d rather have a boss that hogs praise than insincere who pretends to share it.

When investing praise, be generous and genuine.

Take care,

Paul Williams
professional problem solver
Idea Sandbox
Twitter: @IdeaSandbox

The story “Don’t Hog Glory, Invest It Instead” is from pages 209-211 of the book, The Magic Of Thinking Big: Set Your Goals High Then Exceed Them by David J. Schwartz. © 2006 Pocket Books.

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