Having the courage to acknowledge our leaders!

In all of the classes that I teach, I talk about how challenging it is to acknowledge our organization’s leaders. Why? Well, I think we are afraid that they will misinterpret or misconstrue our intentions. Even if we mean it and know that what we want to communicate to them is heartfelt and real, it is still hard to do. We are afraid of being thought of as “suck ups” or “brown nosers” by both our peers who might catch wind of what we did, and our leaders. But once I address this phenomenon in my workshops, people can’t sit still. “I’ll be right back,” a webinar participant texted all of the attendees. “I have to go acknowledge my boss!” Ten minutes later he was back in his virtual seat, texting all of us. “I did it!!!” he wrote, and you could feel his pride. More and more I am seeing and hearing and reading people’s acknowledgments of their leaders, once they are given “permission” to carry this wonderful practice out when it is deserved. Recently, Srini Vajhala told a story on a webinar that was  inspiring, and I asked Srini to write it up for our blog, which happened immediately following the webinar.  Srini wrote:

“Judy, thank you very much for a wonderful presentation. I am sure I will be acknowledging people more from now on. Steve Haslam, our CEO of StreetLinks National Appraisal Services, sends out complimenting emails companywide, which really motivate people.”

Srini Vajhala, thanks for having the courage and determination to acknowledge your leader publicly, both in a global webinar and on our blog. As promised, I will be sending you and your very admirable CEO autographed copies of The Power of Acknowledgment.

Steve Haslam, I acknowledge you for inspiring and engendering pride in the people you lead! A round of virtual applause both for Srini and  Steve!

If you have great stories to tell regarding acknowledging your leaders or about being acknowledged by those you lead, please write a comment and let us know how the experience affected you. Also, feel free to use this blog to acknowledge a great leader of yours. Be as specific as possible about what you value about that person’s leadership style and substance. Have fun with this — it is a great experience to give this “gift.”