I recently attended the Wisconsin Red Cross Brave Hearts award gala, grateful to receive the military award for last fall’s 1700-mile Fallen Hero Honor Ride.
The stories of the award recipients were extraordinary. I met a 9-year-old girl who saved a friend’s life at school using the Heimlich and a sixteen-year-old who engineered a blood drive after last year’s Waukesha tragedy.
One recipient, noting that many clients weren’t getting regular health check-ups, added a doctor’s office to his barbershop to ease comfort and access. Inspiring was the 911 operator who kept a person calm after her car went into the water of a freezing lake until first responders rescued her, and so was the woman who stopped her car after seeing an elderly lady collapse on a busy street, keeping her safe until the ambulance arrived.
A Milwaukee police detective was off-duty getting a bite to eat when a gunman robbed someone and then tried to get into a car with children in the back. The detective distracted the robber from the kids and was shot twice in the abdomen. As he lay wounded in the street after protecting children, he had the presence of mind to call in the vehicle license plate as the attacker tried to escape in another car.
These are extraordinary examples, and I bet you have people in your company going above and beyond, doing something special for another person, and making people feel appreciated. These people are zappers – they give you energy and help you soar to new heights.
What steps do you take to recognize and appreciate them?
Our minds are so tuned to threats and risks (the amygdala) that we can pass over the everyday good people do.
When that happens, you miss an opportunity to highlight examples of your values in action. People tune in to what you praise as well as what you criticize. Your employees want to receive appreciation, so they will adopt the positive behaviors you bring to their attention.
Sadly, many leaders ignore the awesome and treat uncovering a problem as discovering buried treasure.
You have to nip problems in the bud, or they grow.
You will have fewer problems and more success when you treat discovering awesomeness as joyful eureka moments and dispassionately dispatch awful behavior.
Who’s been a hero in your company today? I would love to hear about them! Send me an email and tell me more about your hero!