In It For the Credit

“Flattery is from the teeth out. Sincere appreciation is from the heart out.” — Dale Carnegie

Some folks are just in it for the recognition. I can recall talking with someone who went above and beyond, bragged on it to her supervisor, and then told me she was upset when her supervisor all but said “Do you want a cookie?” It’s not that the supervisor wasn’t impressed but it was obvious that the employee was just looking for a pat on the back.

Do work that is worthy of recognition but work that expects none. While we all deserve credit for good work, if you do it regularly enough, don’t expect a pat on the back each time. Just find joy in knowing that you’re doing something exceptional.

On the other hand, if you are doing great work consistently and are never shown appreciation, it’s time to start looking elsewhere. A manager that doesn’t work to motivate those on his/her team is a terrible leader and doesn’t deserve a team following his/her guidance.


Make doing it for the right reasons a priority.


The Right Motivation

Do you ever look at more seasoned professionals who may have a ton of knowledge but, based on their titles/roles, are settling?  Or at a person who recently turned a promotion down and you don’t understand why?  Well, last night, I realized that the right motivation can make anyone do anything.

Last week, at my wife’s office Christmas party, everyone was given a book titled The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.  Desirée was ecstatic about this!  In my eyes, this woman loves to clean whereas I, of course, am a traditional bachelor who, before her, cleaned only when I was entertaining guests (and, when I say “clean,” I mean “reorganize the clutter” at best or, more often than not, “throw it all in my closet b/c no one is going in my closet”).  Thing is, now, I’m married and compromises must be made, right?  So I’ve found myself being neater in order to make her happier.  Thought I was doing pretty well.  Then last night she pulls the book out.  And I thought, ‘Cool.  She can read while I watch Family Guy.’  Boy, was I wrong.  “We’re reading this book together,” she said.  At that moment, I ran down a list of promises as to what I would and wouldn’t do from this point forward if I didn’t have to listen to an entire book about cleaning.  She proceeded to read the first chapter in its entirety.  No Family Guy for me.

This morning, she woke up and my mancave was “tidy.”  The living room was organized.  My closet was clean.  The trash was taken out.  Today I’m working from home and, on my lunch break, I’ll be discarding junk.  All in hopes of not hearing another word from that book.

“What does this have to do with professional development?”  I’m glad you asked.  As an employee, you need to figure out what motivates you in what situations.  I had become desensitized to the reminders set on my phone so Desirée found a new way to get me to hear her.  I applaud her creativity.  It worked.  Take an honest inventory of yourself and see what motivates you.  Then have a candid discussion with your supervisors and inform them of those things that drive you to perform.  It might be recognition.  It might be gifts.  It might be compensation.  Whatever it is, if it is of value to you, articulate it.  And don’t be afraid to say “money.”  No, you’re not asking for a raise right then but you are letting them know that, upon excelling in your role, you expect compensation.

As a young man, my parents told me I can do anything I set my mind to.  Last night, Desirée Daniels proved that to be true.  It just takes the right motivation.
Make professional development a priority.