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?
- “How do you identify someone who needs encouragement? That person is breathing.” – Truett Cathy
- “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
- “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?
- “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” – Paul Martinelli
- Never let the external define the greatness within.
- “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?