Recognition & Ribbon Giving

I have discovered a fascinating thing: men will die for ribbons. Napoleon Bonaparte

Fascinating Indeed!

There is good and bad in this, light and dark, potential and peril.

To be human is to need affirmation, appreciation and encouragement. To be human is to want to make a difference, and to know one is making a difference. Try as much as we like, but we cannot eliminate these dynamics from our human experience.

Wise leaders understand this... and they treat it with caution and care.

Flattery is bad... it is fake, phony, insincere, and almost always attended by an ulterior motive.

Unearned ribbons are bad... and our culture loves to give ribbons just because we show up! It doesn't matter how long you show up, nor what you do when you show up, nor what is the result of you showing up... Just Show Up and you get the Ribbon! 

Selective and biased affirmation is bad...

Manipulative affirmation is bad (very bad)...

But, encouraging the heart by noticing, affirming, blessing, rewarding, honoring others for work well done - that is a very good thing. And the world needs a lot more of this kind of Ribbon Giving.

For those you lead, or work with - be alert for ways you can give a Ribbon for well done work.

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International