Should I Expect To Receive Encouragement & Appreciation?

Someone asked me this question a few years ago and I’d like to share what I wrote back then with a few updates.

I think there’s contrast between the personal and leadership perspectives.

From a personal perspective, I think all individuals need validation and affirmation of their actions by receiving appreciation and encouragement for who they are and what they do. It’s not a necessity but it helps during the tough times.

As a leader, I think I shouldn’t be expect it.

We are called leaders because we dare to do what others aren’t willing to do. We sacrifice time, space, emotions, and more for the sake of letting our followers know that “we got this”.

  • We dare to push boundaries.
  • We seek for better ways to do things.
  • We see opportunities where everyone sees defeat, and
  • We envision dreams than require many people to achieve them.

Take Chic-fil-A as an example. They have been criticized for acting in accordance to their values and principles and nothing seems to change. It continues to be a very successful company surpassing their competition even though they close on Sundays, don’t open 24 hours, and they honor Christian holidays in addition to all others.

The point is, as a leader, my vision, my passion, and my “whys” should be greater than any other kind of interpersonal recognition or encouragement I may receive. Leaders move forward not because someone is holding their hands along the way, but because they believe their dreams will change the world around them.


3 Reason to encourage?

  1. “How do you identify someone who needs encouragement? That person is breathing.” – Truett Cathy
  2. “In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” – Dr. Albert Schweitzer
  3. “You have it easily in your power to increase the sum total of this world’s happiness now. How? By giving a few words of sincere appreciation to someone who is lonely or discouraged. Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime.” – Dale Carnegie

3 Reasons not to expect it?

  1. “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” – Paul Martinelli
  2. Never let the external define the greatness within.
  3. “He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; he who would achieve much must sacrifice much; he who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly.” – James Allen

Whether I get encouraged or not doesn’t change the power of my calling.

What’s your take? How important is encouragement and appreciation to you?




2 thoughts on “Should I Expect To Receive Encouragement & Appreciation?

Add yours

  1. I used to work for the top manager of a Japanese bank – and we had a project that was all-consuming. Literally 14-16 hour days for over 3 months – that dramatically impacted personal life, was extremely stressful and pushed the limits of creativity to accomplish. We met our deadline, and received reverberating kudos from around the world… from everyone EXCEPT my manager. I was stunned and after a day, I couldn’t handle it and so I went fishing for a compliment – saying “isn’t it great how things worked out and the project was a success?”. Still nothing. Finally, I asked directly why he hadn’t said anything, why he hadn’t acknowledged my efforts, why he hadn’t thanked me for doing a good job. His response: First, I pay you to do a good job, I don’t think I need to thank you for that. Second, everything wasn’t perfect (and he mentioned something so minor that you wouldn’t have thought it would be on anyone’s radar and it certainly didn’t have any impact on the project… just a nuance). The lesson I learned was invaluable – don’t look for validation. Build an inner compass and ask yourself – did I add value today? And if YOUR answer is “yes” then get your validation from that.

    1. Very good awareness Chris. I was part of similar situations especially when I was told by my manager “if it were for me, you wouldn’t be in that position.”. While all my customers were trying to get me to work for them!

      Live and learn.

      It’s definitely great to receive encouragement and appreciation. Yet, I don’t do what I do to be accepted by others. I do it to change lives by making a difference.

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