By Dr. Casey L. Bradley
Usually when people talk about the younger generations a label that is used is “Everyone Got a Trophy Generation.” They tend to use this as an excuse within organization or society as an inability to adapt to evolving workforce or society. I have worked with people across multiple generations in my career and every generation is guided by success and the need to be appreciated.
Let me say that again…. everyone, from the janitor to the CEO of a company, wants to be appreciated in their job and in their life. Some of the most successful professionals and/or leaders in the world today are not the ones that have five “Salesman of the Year” trophies on their bookcase, but the ones that show empathy and appreciation to everyone they meet.
There are two trophies I have on my bookcase today. Can you guess what they are?
A photo of my family and a glass etched heart from colleagues at AB Vista, that was given as a going away gift. That is right when I left AB Vista to slow down and travel less for my family, they showed me how much they appreciated me and how I would be missed. When I am feeling down or discouraged all I must do is look at the photo of my family and then read the message from my teammates.
Both give me the feeling of gratitude and appreciation; they remind me that I am enough, and I have been blessed and successful in life and career.
The decision to leave a company has always been about my family and our future, but it has never been easy to leave behind the people, either that be colleagues or customers. Luckily for me I still can keep in touch with most of them, as some have become customers and even competitors, but still are people who have made lasting impressions in my life.
I have had the opportunity to work for some of the best and worst leaders in our industry. The most influential leader in my career was Paul Kalmbach, who taught me more lessons than I ever realized in my career and life. The most important lesson I learned was to create a win-win in every situation. He used this in business to create solutions for his customers while also being good for business. I use this philosophy every day by showing appreciation for others and helping them achieve their goals and business success. In return, I have built strong relationships and respect within the industry and I am making my own success as a result.
Ask yourself what trophies do you want on your bookcase in 5, 10, 20 years from now?