Cleaning out the proverbial attic, recently, I came across a box of childhood memories that my mother had gathered over the years. There were diplomas, ribbons from a few track-and-field events, and a number of professional citations for excellence in my work.
Among the least of these: A button celebrating my perfect attendance during the school year.
Seriously. They gave me a pin… for showing up.
Against this backdrop of reflection, and sorting through mementos from my childhood accomplishments, I broke out laughing. My wife asked what the heck was going on, and I could barely eek the words out: “They actually gave me an award for showing up!”
When the joke on myself faded, I continued working, but thought about the Addy awards, the sales plaques, and other celebratory bric-a-brac I’ve gathered over the years. Most of it is sitting in a box, somewhere in my basement. (Not sure where.)
Awards are not Rewards
Front-and-center, and easily found: cards, letters, and emails I’ve received from clients, co-workers and bosses… thanking me for helping them achieve something that may have been beyond their reach without my effort. The best awards? Results that people thank you for.
Awards are nice. But rewards are better: Results. Respect. Renewals. Revenue.
To be sure, it is gratifying to have your peers celebrate your hard work and impressive accomplishments! (Who among us doesn’t enjoy a little recognition from time to time?!) But there’s nothing like the gratitude of clients you have served well, and evidence that you have helped others solve their challenges through the work you have done. With one of those notes in hand, you are one request away from having a referral or recommendation… and fast-tracking yourself to the next client success.
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