Two questions for you today:

1) When you’re down, when you’re at the end of your energy, what keeps you going?
2) More importantly, who keeps you going? Do they know that?

Today’s post is commentary on the posts of two bloggers I greatly respect, Wally Bock from Three Star Leadership and Kris Dunn, the HR Capitalist.

In Learning from Master Banks, Wally tells the simple story of his baby grandson learning to turn over.

“He tries and tries and tries. He gets half-way over and falls back. He grins and tries again. He only stops when he runs out of energy. …

“We didn’t wait for Banks to make the perfect roll before we praised him. We applauded his effort. We encouraged him. We cheered the slightest improvement.

“Maybe, just maybe, if we treated our people more like we treat Banks, they’ll act with energy and purpose, more like he does.”

Who encourages you as you try again and again? Who do you encourage to keep on trying themselves? Are you recognising progress and not just results?

In I Cried Like a Little Baby This Weekend…Here’s Why…, Kris speaks to a story of recognition from the world of sports.

“Then Emmitt Smith proceeded to do something I least expected. He made me cry with his eloquence and grace. Not to mention his understanding of the world of recognition.

"Then, he saves what he clearly considers to be the most important “thank you” for a teammate he didn’t have to thank – former fullback Daryl Johnston, who is so important in the big scheme of things that he’s sitting out in general admission seats with guys sporting mullets and hats enabling easier beer drinking.

“Emmitt’s clearly moved by having the opportunity to thank Johnston – so much so that he’s crying like a baby. …

“Recognition 101 – thank the people who cleared the obstacles in front of you in some type of public way. Do it often and make sure it’s genuine.”

While I don’t claim to be any kind of an expert on American football, I understand exactly the point Kris is making. Who has cleared the obstacles for you, perhaps by fighting the big fights up the chain of command or perhaps by taking care of the more mundane tasks to free you for the more high profile projects? Are you recognising those who cleared the obstacles for you?

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