What you do is more important than who you know...


We all want our employees to take pride in their work – that’s a combination of what they do as what they know. Unfortunately, we’ve all had some employees that would also add to that who they are or who they know. The best way to get the first kind of pride is to recognize and reward it: give lots of feedback, coaching, and mentoring – the kinds that let people feel good about themselves, what they do, how they do it, and where they work. And the best way to dampen the need for them to exhibit the second is to also recognize them for what they do and then who they may know. The best leaders find ways to catch their employees doing things right by watching and noticing and recognizing their efforts every day. One of the old-timers I was fortunate enough to work with always used to remind us to ‘inspect what you expect’; I remember it because he was a man of few words, and the ones he did utter made good sense. Provide enough feedback about what employees do and they won’t be so pushy about who they are. Give your employees a reason to feel proud about what they do today.

 

Amy Tan (born 1952): American author of seven novels (most notably The Joy Luck Club), one memoir, and two children’s books