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Chris LoCurto

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June 22, 2012

4 Ways To Inspire Your Team Members Today

There is no doubt that as leaders, our job is to produce—to make more of our products or our services or our whatever each and every day. And as leaders, we have a tendency to get bogged down in our daily to-do lists to produce as much of our “whatever” as we can.

The problem? We also tend to forget that we don’t run our businesses alone. (Well … unless you’re a one-person shop. Then, of course, you do. Sorry. Didn’t mean to point you out and make you feel lonely … this is awkward … ice cream?) Most of us work with a team of people who are helping to grow our efforts.

Therefore, I will say, as I always do, it’s your job to make your team successful. Why? Because if you can, you have successfully duplicated yourself, along with about a dozen other reasons I won’t cover today. One of the ways to make them successful is to inspire them. When team members are inspired, they are more productive. Here are four quick ways to motivate them:

  • Look at you!!! – Recognition is the fastest and easiest way to inspire someone. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, wants to be recognized for something they have done. Preferably, it’s something GOOD they’ve accomplished, especially in front of peers or leaders.
  • Dear John – Or Sally or whoever your team member may be. Take five minutes and write a handwritten note of appreciation to them. It doesn’t take a lot of words to say, “I think you’re amazing.”  In fact, it takes four.
  • Are you buzzin’? – Take them or send someone to go pick up some REAL coffee. You know, something other than the thick black stuff in the break room that you can peel paint or the lining of your stomach with. Go get some Dillanos. :-D
  • Is that a quarter behind your ear? – Or even better: Is that $50 in my hand as I shake yours? Giving someone a $50 handshake when they aren’t expecting it will blow them away. And trust me, they will produce more than that in the next 15 minutes because they are pumped!

Inspiring someone doesn’t take much. Just a few minutes of thought and a few more minutes of action. Give it a try right now and see what happens. Unless you’re reading this alone in your car as you’re driving. In that case, put this down and remember,  10 and two … 10 and two!

Question: How will you inspire a team member today?

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  • http://www.iquestintl.com/ Ronie Walter @ IT Staffing Agencies

    Just always cheer them up to make them inspire. I also trust my team members during my times. I do agree in this subject. 

  • http://LouiseThaxton.Net/ LouiseThaxton

    I love them all!  I have several different “teams” across the state, and on different days of the week, I am at their location.  I love to “surprise” the different teams – in different ways.  A pat on the back, an “atta girl” (or boy!), cupcakes, a gift card – several of the team affectionately call me “Mama” because I bring the surprises.  On different occasions, I have paid for several of my team to attend some big industry events out of state, we go shopping together at times during lunch, have a special “in-house” lunch, drive 30 minutes to eat at a special restaurant, etc. I try to come up with different ways to reward them – not only in monetary ways – but in time, praise, recognition. 
     

  • fmalmeida

    Hi Chris. I totally agree with the concept you express here. I do have my doubts about your last suggested strategy. Although the other three focus on the person, the last one focus on a material revenue as an exchange for the results expected. If leadership is influence and that comes in different levels, exchange is certainly one of the lowest levels. Thanks for sharing.

    • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

      @fmalmeida I’m gonna have to defend strategy 4. For a couple reasons. You express doubts because it’s material revenue for results expected…what is your paycheck if not exactly that? And this is ways to inspire…I gotta tell ya, I would be VERY inspired if Pres. Grant shook my hand at work on Monday! People are motivated by different things, recognition, opportunities to help, finances, etc. I, for one am highly motivated by financial reward. That’s the carrot that can get me walkin’! So I see absolutely nothing wrong with that as a means of inspiring a team member if that’s what cranks their tractor…but I could be wrong, it’s happened before ;)

      • http://jonahenry.com/ Jon Henry

         @Skropp  @fmalmeida I think we’re using the term “inspire” too broadly. The two most important things about “work” in any sense are your motivation and satisfaction. As a leader, you try to inspire both areas by motivating and making sure your team is satisfied. 
         
        Money is a horrible motivator: people do not appreciate the work they do if they feel like they are being bribed to do it. However, money is consistently one of the top indicators of job satisfaction. 
         

      • http://jonahenry.com/ Jon Henry

        @Skropp@fmalmeida
        I think we’re using the term “inspire” too broadly. The two most important things about “work” in any sense are your motivation and satisfaction. As a leader, you try to inspire both areas by motivating and making sure your team is satisfied. 
         
        Money is a horrible motivator: people do not appreciate the work they do if they feel like they are being bribed to do it. However, money is consistently one of the top indicators of job satisfaction. 
        Look at #3: coffee is a horrible way to be satisfied, but it generally motivates you to do something whether you want to or not.  
         
        Some things go both ways. I write a thoughtful note to one team member and they turn out to be satisfied, while another team member sees the note and is indirectly motivated to try to ‘earn’ one as well.
         

      • fmalmeida

         @Skropp  @fmalmeida But you won’t go very far in your commitment to your assignment if your only motivator is your paycheck at the end of the month. I agree that people are motivated differently and am not against a reward in recognition for work well-done. But the way it was expressed, it seemed more like a bribe to make you do something, rather than a reward in recognition for an accomplishment.

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @fmalmeida I can see where you’re coming from, but from what I know of Chris and by extension, Dave Ramsey and EntreLeadership, I know Chris doesn’t “bribe” his team, nor would he suggest doing so. The $50 handshake he would use as a “man you’re a great team member and I LOVE working with you!” does that make sense?

        • fmalmeida

           @Skropp  @fmalmeida It makes more sense to me now. Thanks!

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @fmalmeida Awesome. Have a great weekend

        • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

           @Skropp  @fmalmeida Late to the party. I also agree that money is the worst motivator you can get when it comes as an award for something. I’ve read a few books/articles/studies which all agree that money doesn’t work so well because it’s spent so quickly – you forget all about quickly. 
           
          However: I’ve gotten $50 buck handshakes – and it does feel pretty great especially when you’re budget strapped. My boss said: Aaron, thank you for your great work here. Please take your wife out to eat on me. 
           
          That was cool. We went out to eat, and used most of it to buy badly needed groceries. Motivated? Yes. Did it last long? Not too long, but I sure loved my boss for it. (I loved him anyway – great guy. ) 
           
          But I think Chris does mention the all time power moves when it comes to motivating others: Praise, Personal hand written letter, and TIME.  Best of all : they are free, but have the potential to last a lifetime! Great ROI.

      • http://www.cabinart.net/ cabinart

         @Skropp  @fmalmeida “I work for money, not for fun; I want my money when my work is done.” (author unknown) Money also motivates me, Skropp! (or should I begin calling you Mark?)

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @cabinart @fmalmeida Ha! I love the quote! Sounds like an “evil” capitalist. Haha. And you can call me either, the secret of my real first name is out!! (not that was ever REALLY a secret…”Skropp” is just my nickname!)

        • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

           @cabinart Money motivates me too while I’m fighting to meet my basic needs. But as those are covered on a regular basis, money tends to be less and less an effective motivator. It’s the soft touches that seem to be more powerful! 

  • ChrisLoCurto

    @leadershipfreak Thank you Dan!!

  • http://eselfemploymentideas.net/ selfemployedbob

    Help!  Completely off topic.  Just had a really deflating experience!  I just shared my DISC personality profile to a co-worker and got laughed at and argued with.  He said that it looks like another stupid thing that management will shove down our throats and forget about in two weeks.
     
    The really bad part is that I know that our boss feels the same way.  I’m trying really hard here to be a positive influence in our culture; which is very anti-new way of thinking.
     
    I’m planning on posting my profile on my door as a way to get people thinking & talking about it.  However, it is very difficult to face that kind of criticism without wanting to crawl into a hole and give up.
     
    Looking for encouragement.

    • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

       @selfemployedbob Ugh! Bob, if that’s how leadership has handled things in the past, then it’s very likely they will now as well. I think you have to influence them to see just how important the DISC in the company will be. If you can’t, is there someone who CAN be the influencer? 
       
      As for the coworker, I heard Jim Collins once say that a cynical person is nothing more than a passionate person who is tired of being let down. I think you might be able to influence that person on topics that don’t involve leadership in the company. 
       
      I hope this makes sense and helps. 

      • http://eselfemploymentideas.net/ selfemployedbob

         @ChrisLoCurto Thanks for your input Chris!  I will do my best!  I believe that I am a lone voice in the crowd of many here, but I won’t give up.  My brother & wife work here, so it’s worth the extra effort!

    • http://www.cabinart.net/ cabinart

       @selfemployedbob Wow, I don’t know how to encourage you but feel your pain. Sounds like management has a track record of not following through.
       
      Here is your encouragement: Don’t give up yet! This can work. 
      Perhaps you and your co-workers could just try out the DISC thing among yourselves, the posting it on the door, understanding one another even if management flakes out. And maybe you can win over that rude co-worker by applying things from is profile to show him how good it feels to be understood.

      • http://eselfemploymentideas.net/ selfemployedbob

         @cabinart Thank you so much!  The problem is that this co-worker is very reflective of the culture here.  Very few would take the test, let alone pay money for it.  I’ve got a tough battle ahead, but according to my profile, I have to be more understanding of other peoples perspective.  High “C”.  So, I guess I’ll have to learn some patience.  ;)

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ lilykreitinger

       @selfemployedbob I’m so sorry to read what the culture is like at your work. It makes it hard to get up in the morning. I’ve been there only once and it was definitely no fun.  I ended up heading for greener pastures and it made a big difference in my life.  Something that has worked for me is identifying what is behind the negative attitude.  Maybe the person craves appreciation, recognition, affirmation, caffeine (ha!).  I’ve seen amazing transformations in people when I start treating them differently.  Once you identify THEIR DISC profile at least in general, and speak their language of appreciation, you can start getting through.  Time and time again I’ve worked with “difficult” coworkers that have worked great with me.  Does this make sense? 

      • http://eselfemploymentideas.net/ selfemployedbob

         @lilykreitinger It really does make sense!  I think that is part of the problem, so I’ll have to be better myself.  I’ll have to soften my approach.  I tend to get excited about these things.  I see a deficiency and automatically try to fix it.  Not everyone wants things to be “fixed”.  The extremely difficult ones may need a beer to convince them?
         
         @cabinart  Also, my book club is going to start in August.  I’ve got five people signed up so far to review Linchpin by Seth Godin.  One of them is a National level manager.  I’m hoping I can eventually introduce Entreleadership in that setting where it’s a volunteer situation and negative attitudes can be challenged.
         
        Thanks for caring!  It helps to know that I’m not crazy or just falling for some gimick!

        • http://www.cabinart.net/ cabinart

           @selfemployedbob  That’s great, Bob! Way to pursue it – keep us all posted! 

    • CabinetDoork

       @selfemployedbob
       I feel ya brother.  When you care about your co-workers you want better for them.  I feel that from you.  I recognize that frustration & I dig that.  (Sometimes I get frustrated when others don’t get frustrated.)  When we realize that we can’t simultaniously influence and express frustration we choose to be a better influence.  I also recognize the “trying really hard to influence” model of leadership.  (I’ve exhausted myself with that model before too.)  Maybe try re-thinking influence…  Let your motivation be impact rather than influence.  Having a positive impact is better because if the impacted doesn’t follow suit, they are still positively impacted.  Influence will come when people realize that your motivation is purely for the sake of having a positive impact.  Also, seeing someone passionately fight for positive culture is encouraging to me and others in this “community.”  Keep up the fight, Brother!

    • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

      @selfemployedbob Wow. That’s tough. This is Chris’ soap box, so I’d go with his ideas, but I’ll stand next to the box and give my opinion…
      I think it would be handled EXACTLY the same at my place of employment. I respect you for trying! I think the issue is that the coworker may be right in his assessment of what management would do. Which puts you in a tough spot. I think unless management can see the light and work to turn their thinking and the company culture around (wow, I’m sounding like Chris!!) you’re in for a looong tough battle!
      Maybe drop pieces of the DISC into conversation without calling it such. Like “I notice wyou seem to like a lot of details when I give you info, is that correct?” or “how do you want me to give you info? Detailed? Sketch outline? Verbal? Written?” maybe you can get people thinking about it WITHOUT having this “new thing” forced on them….
      Just thoughts

    • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

       @selfemployedbob “Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone.”Proverbs 25:15 –
       
       Have you listened to Michael Hyatt’s podcast about incremental change? That could be an inspiration for you as well – http://michaelhyatt.com/006-the-power-of-incremental-change-podcast.html 
       
      And I’d echo Chris’ question: are you reaching out to the influencers? Do you know who they are? 
       
      Your book club could also help you build a platform, and over time, influence. Patience can break a bone. 
      I think you’re going about this right. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Company cultures won’t change in a day either. Just keep being the change you want to see in the world – (Can I quote Gandhi on here?)  Anyway, I think the point is: don’t grow weary in well doing, for in due season you’ll reap a reward if you don’t give up. :)

  • http://www.ricardoequips.com RicardoEquips

    Every Friday we have Weekly Reports which we all cover our Highs and Lows of this passed week. With all the Highs we have a praise party to God for it  and celebrate. And for our lows we have a Prayer Party to God to ask for support of whatever we need for each team members situation. The praise parties are public, but the prayer parties are one on one for confidentiality purposes. So that’s our little thing we do. And I believe they love it more when I as their leader give them my low point. Sometimes they see me as this invincible man of steel or something. So when I tell them my low points: failure, weakness, bondage, problem, or even sin it energizes them more. They realize after that even with all that I do (productivity) and all that I do for them, it humbles them (and me) for them to know that I am still human. They call me “brutally honest” because I am a man who has no problem with sharing my weaknesses with people. They sometimes look at me like, “I want to get to his level!” But when I am in weakness I let them know, “You guys are already there with me because we are a team.”

    • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

       @RicardoEquips That’s huge Ricardo!! It’s great that you notice that!!

      • http://www.ricardoequips.com RicardoEquips

         @ChrisLoCurto I actually got the idea from the EntreLeadership book, but we just changed it for our setting.

  • http://www.BaptistEducation.org/ JoshuaWRivers

    Ok, had to get ice cream :)

    • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

       @JoshuaWRivers HAHAHA..YES!!!

  • http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=36736095&trk=tab_pro TroyD

    Chris, You talk about a “Thank You” letter in this post, which reminds me of one of the best things I have taken from an early podcast of yours.  You had said that if someone is traveling a lot or if their commitment somehow impacted the team members’ family, you write the letter to them.  “Dear Wife, I wanted to write and let you know that your husband is a Rockstar……”  The impact of the letter is multiplied when the team member get home to his wife having read the letter.  It connects you to the family and the family to his work.  

    • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

      @TroyD Great point Troy! It lets the family know you recognize their sacrifice. I’m out of town 2-3 nights a week and when I’m not out of town I’m still working 12-14 hours a day…such a gesture would mean the WORLD to my wife and to me…

    • rlawrencejr

       @TroyD Yes!! Notes of appreciation speak volumes to team members and to their families. I just started reading a book by Joel Manby, “Love Works: Seven Timeless Principles for Effective Leaders,” and Joel shares a personal story about the owner of the organization that he leads wrote just such a letter…and it provided tons of encouragement to Joel and his family, and at just the right time!

      • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

         @rlawrencejr  @TroyD @Skropp So true guys. And I will actually be interviewing Joel in an hour for an upcoming EntreLeadership Podcast. 

        • rlawrencejr

           @ChrisLoCurto  @TroyD  @Skropp I trust the interview with Joel went well; it should be a great podcast episode, and I can’t wait to hear it!

  • cabinart

    Sniffle, sniffle, it is so lonely in here. Maybe ice cream would help. . . BUT, “A moment’s pleasure on the lips adds inches inches to the hips”.
     
    I CAN send notes of appreciation to the folks who sell my work for me, my drawing students, suppliers, and customers. That’s as close to a “team” as I’ve got!

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ lilykreitinger

      @cabinart I’m sure they would love it because it’s totally unexpected, and they ARE your team!

      • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

         @lilykreitinger  @cabinart Oh heck yeah!! They are blown away because almost NOBODY gives them that!

  • Domerskee

    Great reminder. Timely as well.  I am just coming through a week where we’ve had to do some corrective actions with some on our team. In the near future I need to catch some team members, especially those we are working with, doing some good things.

    • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

       @Domerskee Amen brother! It’s so easy to find them doing things wrong, but difficult finding them doing things right!

      • http://www.BaptistEducation.org/ JoshuaWRivers

         @ChrisLoCurto  @Domerskee It is human nature to see the bad in others and the good in ourselves.

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @JoshuaWRivers @ChrisLoCurto @Domerskee Yup. Something about a beam and a mote

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @JoshuaWRivers @ChrisLoCurto @Domerskee Yup. Something about a beam and a mote comes to mind…

  • http://jonahenry.com/ Jon Henry

    A great way to inspire is to actually understand your team member’s personality… of the four suggestions here, the one I’d appreciate (and likely do) the most is a note, though what I would really prefer is just some time to my own thoughts and maybe a book as a gift. Knowing your team and knowing them well will reduce that 10 minutes of thought down to like 30 seconds too. 

    • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

       @Jon Henry HAHA…you just added 5, 6, and 7 to the list. 

      • http://jonahenry.com/ Jon Henry

         @ChrisLoCurto I FORGOT THE GUM BALLS! (caps intentional). 

        • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

           @Jon Henry Too late!!! 

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @ChrisLoCurto @Jon Henry Gumballs can be number 8. Does your gum ball machine have the spirally ramp that it rolls all the way down to the bottom?? Cuz that’s fu to watch. Haha

  • http://www.rookie-manager.com/ Kellie

    I have used recognition and random gift vouchers with my team, and it really works! I usually send “Job well done!” emails, I guess it’s time to buy note pads for handwritten notes. 
    Great article!

    • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

      Thanks Kellie! I bet you will love the response from the notes. 

    • cabinart

      Vistaprint has regular offers for a free note pad and other goodies. You could put your logo or “Job Well Done!” at the top. (They are great to work with.)

  • SondraHopkins

    Thanks for the reminder Chris!  So easy to get stuck in our own attempts to be better leaders that we forget to show gratitude!  

    • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

      @SondraHopkins It is ironic that in our attempts to become better leaders we sometimes forget about those we’re leading….

    • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

       @SondraHopkins Absolutely Sondra. I call it Force of Habit. And great to see you back. :-)

  • CabinetDoork

    Timely reminder Chris.  (Incredibly busy week & I’ve been on inspiration / recognition furlough.)Thanks.
    #5 if I may?  … Thank you.
    Learn em’!  I give one guy iTunes cards, another Red Bull (the first time he nearly hugged me, then shared with everybody from his bounty, and we had a very productive day.), another likes history & military tactics books.  One likes $ over anything else.  etc… And they all like food!  The point is: learn what tripps their trigger.  It’s fun for both of you when they unexpectedly get something they like!  They will feel connected and appreciated.

    • http://eselfemploymentideas.net/ selfemployedbob

       @CabinetDoork Great point!  I used to use this method to get past receptionists.  Never thought about it in this application.  Thanks!

      • CabinetDoork

         @selfemployedbob
         Sorry.  I meant for my reply to be to you & skropp.  Not to myself.  (Admittedly, I do reply to my own internal dialogue though.  That’s completely normal right?))

    • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

      @CabinetDoork Love that!! Not only are you giving them something,you’re showing that they matter enough for you to notice their personalities and what they like!! Always love your comments Jeremy!!

      • CabinetDoork

         @Skropp  @CabinetDoork
         Thanks guys.  Writing that comment reminded me of that John Lovits Saturday Night Live skit… “Get To Know Me!”  Anybody else remember that?  …  chirp, chirp, … chirp.

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ lilykreitinger

      @CabinetDoork personalized gifts make people feel on too of the world! Great ideas!

    • cabinart

       @CabinetDoork Chocolate might work too but you need to know if they prefer dark over milk (or the opposite, which is simply unthinkable to me!)

      • CabinetDoork

         @cabinart
         Unthinkable indeed!  No worries, I wouldn’t have anyone on our team like that!  Chocolate… I’m on it for next week.  I have given a team member a huge tub of Dubble Bubble before.  Don’t laugh.  There is a part of his job where he needs to be extremely focused & physically steady.  He chews gum while he does it.  Gum of choice… Dubble Bubble.  It was a hit & he shared it until it was gone.  I guess we like to share things.

      • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

        @cabinart @CabinetDoork Loooove me some dark chocolate…with almonds too. Mmmmmm

    • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

       @CabinetDoork This is so solid Jeremy!! Not just giving them something, but discovering WHAT motivates them. Well done sir!

  • http://www.BaptistEducation.org/ JoshuaWRivers

    Hmmmmm….ice cream sounds good.
     
    As a team member that is not in an official leadership role, I think it’s important to help inspire each other. Acknowledgement from above definitely helps to inspire an individual, but coming from each other can really build unity as well. A superior may see the overall process of what you’re doing, but team members get to see the individual steps. While going through a difficult day, a word of encouragement yesterday from my superior may not help much. But a quick “Doing good” from a fellow worker can be that little bit that helps get through that rough spot. 

    • MattMcWilliams2

       @JoshuaWRivers Encouragement, thanks, recognition go three ways:
       
      Up – your boss, yes your boss, your board, etc. 
      Down – direct reports, direct reports of others
      Lateral – team members, other managers, etc.

    • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

      @JoshuaWRivers Great point Josh, we can certainly lead from the middle!

    • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

      @JoshuaWRivers somewhat off topic… I think the tag line of Chris’ blog should be “Leadership principles you can chew on all day…” because we ALWAYS come back to food! Haha

      • cabinart

         @Skropp  @JoshuaWRivers or gumballs!

        • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

           @cabinart  @Skropp  @JoshuaWRivers @MattMcWilliams2 @Jon Henry HAHAHA…gumballs go a long way. 
           
          I’ll never forget the day 12 years ago when I walked into my office and there was a hand written note from Jack Galloway on my phone. One of the other VP’s like me. Getting a peer card meant a ton to me. 

  • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ lilykreitinger

    Chris, look at you, your posts are so good! :D HA!   Seriously, recognition is something that some leaders need to work on and some are great at.  I just started in a new position at work and it made me feel great that my “old” supervisor took me out for coffee on my last day, and my “new” supervisor did it on my first day with her.   Quality time and affrimation are my preferred languages of appreciation and they definitely worked in both of these situations. I felt important to them.  One person was sad to seem me go and took the time to let me know that he appreciated my work and wished me the best. The other wanted to express how glad she is to have me on board.   Do you think I’m willing to give 110% to both of them , you bet!  (And I don’t mean 40% on Monday, 35% on Tuesday…)

    • http://www.BaptistEducation.org/ JoshuaWRivers

       @lilykreitinger Wow, 40% on a Monday! How can someone give so much on one day!?

      • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

        @JoshuaWRivers @lilykreitinger Haha. That was my thought, of course you don’t mean 40% on Monday…that’s WAY too high!! After all, you’ve got 5 days!! Don’t burn yourself out!! Haha

        • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ lilykreitinger

           @Skropp  @JoshuaWRivers  @lilykreitinger it’s not a good joke if you have to explain it. I read it on a cartoon: I give 110% to my job: 40% on Monday, 35% on Tuesday, 20% on Wednesday, 10% on Thursday and 5% on Friday. Get it?
           

        • cabinart

           @lilykreitinger Got it before the explanation – might be a girl-thing.

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @lilykreitinger @JoshuaWRivers O I totally got it. I was going with the cartoon ad saying that Monday’s the first day of the week..you gotta eeeaaaassseeee into it! Haha

        • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

           @Skropp  @lilykreitinger  @JoshuaWRivers @cabinart I’m just glad you give 120% here every day!!!

  • tkstaxlady

    LOL those last 2 sentences…you were watching me! At least I was sitting waiting at the red light. My sister and I are starting a business now and from Entreleadership and personal experience we are constantly reminded that the team is your most valuable asset. Her leader told her early on “You’ll only see me when there’s a problem in your department.” My employer, on the other hand, believes in recognition of hard work and its not unusual to get handed a gift card in front of everyone when you do something great.

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ lilykreitinger

       @tkstaxlady And I bet the difference in people’s attitude and performance when people get recognized is astonishing…
       

      • tkstaxlady

        @lilykreitinger Most definitely! At my company, morale is higher, turnover is lower (especially since my leader had only took that position a few months ago and turnover was crazy high before). The few employees that are still present since before the leadership change say that it is so much better workingtheirs now! On the other hand, my sister’s leadership team is not on one accord and needs some Entreleadership training bad!

        • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

           @tkstaxlady  @lilykreitinger Think of how you will be lightyears ahead in your new business. Just being able to see the difference is more than most people experience. Well done!!

  • http://eselfemploymentideas.net/ selfemployedbob

    This is a great reminder to us all!
     
    I can still remember when over 15 years ago my first real boss (and owner) in the steel business took the time to write a note in a card that included a gift certificate to Applebees ($20), and a cool key-chain.  All it said was that he “appreciated my hard work” and the fact that I stayed late to fix a project we were doing.  The funny thing is that I had stayed late because I had screwed it up in the first place.  He knew it, but still did that for me.
     
    I worked harder for and respected that man more than anyone I’ve ever worked for because of the way he treated us!  To this day, if he called, I would bend over backwards to help him out.
     
    I want to make people feel that way whenever I can.

    • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

      @selfemployedbob That’s so true! I think it was yesterday on twitter Dan Rockwell (@leadershipfreak) said “motivation by fear is futile”. Kindness and encouraging words do far more than dwelling on the bad…

    • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

       @selfemployedbob Let me say Bob that you did that for me!! Andy Traub forwarded an incredible compliment that you gave me over on his site. THANK YOU!!!

      • http://eselfemploymentideas.net/ selfemployedbob

         @ChrisLoCurto Ha!  Andy is cool like that!  Wish I could say I did it for you buddy, but the truth is, you and Dave made ME look good.  ;)
         
        Best part; one of them called me personally from Georgia and said that he had already attended Entreleadership Master Series and was a big fan also.  We ended up doing some SERIOUS business together!  So, thank you!!

        • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

           @selfemployedbob Heck yeah! That’s pretty cool!!

  • MattMcWilliams2

    I think Dave talks about Jack Galloway at Lampo in the book. He is the kind of the handwritten note. We still have one of his notes on our fridge.
     
    I have a recurring calendar reminder on Thursdays to write thank you notes. I stole it from someone (forget who) and it’s called ‘Thank You Thursdays.’ It forces me to think “who can I thank, recognize, or just encourage today?” Sometimes it’s hard. Other times I can think of 4-5 people easily. Either way, I force myself to write at leads ONE a week. At a minimum I write 100-150 a year. That is a lot in the end.
     
    But Chris, your post reminded me that while doing that on Thursday is great, I need to do something today…and tomorrow (why not for my wife?), and Sunday (how often do people thank the pastor or pray for him?)…and every day really.
     
    ACTION: I am setting a new calendar reminder to take 3 minutes every day to do one act of gratitude or recognition or encouragement. Why 3 minutes? Because I know I can commit to that.
     
    Thanks Chris…really got me thinking.
     
    3 minutes folks…I’ll bet if you do that, you’re life will change.

    • http://eselfemploymentideas.net/ selfemployedbob

       @MattMcWilliams2 Wow, that’s commitment!  I’m getting writers cramp just thinking about it.  
       
      Question:  Do you ever feel like it lessons the value since you do so many?  Just curious?

      • MattMcWilliams2

        No way. I would guess the average person gets 3 per year. 
         
        High end 6 (that’s every 2 months…think about how long that is). Low end 1.  I write them to everyone (team members, vendors, clients, bosses, friends).
         
        Would it lesson the value if you wrote a love note to your spouse every day? Probably not. 
         
        Every day is not practical for non-spouses, but it could be simple like this:
         
            Put a post-it not on their screen at lunch saying “Heard your service call just now. Great job staying calm!” 
         
        They will remember them for months, but still 2-3-4 months between them will seem like forever. As for committment and writers cramp, make them quick. They take less than 5 minutes. 5 min. X 3 a week. 15 minutes and I am done.
         
        Here is my general formula:
         
        Name,
        Thank you for…or Congrats on…or I was just thinking about you and…
        2 sentences about what it meant to me or how I can encourage or what an achievement that is.
        Thank you again…I am proud of you…I am praying for you…and always: If I can ever help with anything let me know.
        Signature

        • http://eselfemploymentideas.net/ selfemployedbob

           @MattMcWilliams2 Good point!  I love the post-it note screen example.  This doesn’t have to be complicated.  Nice work!

        • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

           @selfemployedbob  @MattMcWilliams2 HAHAHA…look at my comment above on @JoshuaWRivers comment. I talk about Jack Galloway there. :-D

    • http://www.BaptistEducation.org/ JoshuaWRivers

       @MattMcWilliams2 I like how you mentioned spouses and others outside of “work”. It can be easy for us to take them for granted.

      • MattMcWilliams2

         @JoshuaWRivers Yep just shot a text to a friend who is traveling wishing him safe travels etc. 
         
        This calendar reminder thing could be huge for me…just a simple reminder to think of others for 3 minutes a day. You might need a few minutes but man…3 minutes EVERY day with 1-3 people. Dang.

    • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

      @MattMcWilliams2 I love that idea! I may steal it from you! ;)

      • MattMcWilliams2

         @Skropp  @MattMcWilliams2 Do steal. That’s why I shared it :)

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @MattMcWilliams2 But if you’re allowing me to steal its no longer stealing, because you gave it to me…and that’s just not as fun as stealing a good idea ;)

        • MattMcWilliams2

           @Skropp  @MattMcWilliams2 I need a nap after reading that :)

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ lilykreitinger

       @MattMcWilliams2 I love the idea of Thank You Thursdays!!

    • cabinart

       @MattMcWilliams2 “365 Thank Yous” by John Kralik is a great book about writing thank you notes. His examples are fabulous! You can occasionally get free note cards from Vista print OR even buy some from me!  (a mixture of helpful suggestion and shameless self-promo)

      • MattMcWilliams2

         @cabinart One of my clients is a direct competitor of Vista Print, so no comment :).
         
        I use really nice ones for mailing internally I found that a mixture of nice ones, Post-its, and even the occasional “Nice Job!” sticker work.
         
        Got the sticker idea from the 1992 Clinton presidential campaign. Proof you can learn anything from absolutely anyone…even the Clinton campaign. Oh buy…just got political. Uh oh.

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com/ Joseph Lalonde

    Love your idea of a handwritten note. It’s much better than a quick email or form letter. You let the person know you took the time to sit down and actually write out your feelings.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com/ Joseph Lalonde

      Whoa, I read too quickly and missed the $50 handshake. That would be amazing and a blessing to many people that I know. I hope to be able to pass that one on to others sooner rather than later.

      • cabinart

         @Joseph Lalonde You want to pass on the $50 or the idea??

        • http://www.jmlalonde.com/ Joseph Lalonde

           @cabinart That came out wrong. I meant start implementing the $50 idea. Giving handshakes with various amounts of money. I think it would mean so much to so many people.

        • http://www.cabinart.net/ cabinart

           @Joseph Lalonde Okay – just clarifying for the sake of anyone you work with. They might mob you now!

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @Joseph Lalonde @cabinart I’ll shake your hand anytime Joe ;)

        • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

           @Skropp  @Joseph  @cabinart I’m thinking since it was my idea, I should get the first $50 handshake! 

  • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

    Well, I pretty much work on my own….never see anyone at work. But I am going to work harder at appreciating. My manager and I do not see eye to eye, but if I really think hard i think I can find something about him to appreciate, and as hard as it will be, I will compliment him! It MAY just kill me (if so, I leave all my gum balls to Jon Henry….) but I’ll do ‘er!

  • John Briese

    We have begun using the $50.00 handshake….It makes an impression well beyond its value!!

    • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

      @John Briese I like the idea!!

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com/ Joseph Lalonde

       @John Briese That’s pretty awesome John. How have you seen productivity increase because of that action?

      • John Briese

         @Joseph Lalonde Not sure I can point that finely to an increase in productivity. But two things have happened:
        1) I hear about it on weekly reports when my team leaders have given the $50.
        2) I hear appreciation for OTHER team members on their weekly reports. And that is awesome when a team member goes out of their way to compliment another team member! I attribute it to seeing the example come down from the top. 

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ lilykreitinger

       @John Briese I know of someone that gave $10 tokens to the vending machine and people felt like they had won the lottery, just because someone took the time to thank them.
       

      • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

         @lilykreitinger  @John Briese @Skropp @Joseph Lalonde I’m not sure it’s working John. Try it with me and let’s see. ;-)

      • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ uma_maheswaran

        That’s true Lily! I have seen that happening

  • tbric1

    I need to get better at this.  I say thank you a lot, but never go beyond.  I’ll try it Monday.  (everyone is off today except me!)

    • tbric1

      I forgot, I have bought rolls and lunch on occasion and the guys really like that! 

      • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

         @tbric1 HAHAHA…so you can only inspire yourself today with rolls?! :-)

  • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

    Complimenting team members publicly has always been the best way to go, in my experience.  When something goes right (unless I actually performed the task solo) I always give the team member the props for it.  If the task had a poor outcome, I took responsibility for it.  After all, it is “my” group.
     
    Public recognition goes a long, long way.
    So does ice cream.
     

    • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

      @skottydog Haha! I knew itd come back around to food sooner or later scott!! You’re absolutely right, public recognition works great!!

      • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

        @Skropp Ha! I know! Chris forgot to mention a gift certificate for Cafe Positano! (you know he was thinking it!)

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com/ Skropp

          @skottydog i never feel more out of the loop than when you guys start talking coffee! Hahaha.

        • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ lilykreitinger

          @Skropp I don’t remember coffee being mentioned when he talked about Cafe Positano :)

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ lilykreitinger

       @skottydog Or root beer floats
       

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ uma_maheswaran

      That’s true! Praise in public; Edify in private. 

  • http://www.thecaremovement.com/ Al Smith

    Great post Chris.  I try and practice the CARE acronym in all my affairs. Communicate, Appreciate, Respect, Encourage.  It works.
     
    Thanks again for all you do.  take CARE.
     
    Al

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com/ Joseph Lalonde

       @Al Smith Sounds like CARE should produce great results. You’re fulfilling the basic emotional needs that a person has.

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com/ lilykreitinger

       @Al Smith I need to write this one down Al!
       

    • http://www.BaptistEducation.org/ JoshuaWRivers

       @Al Smith I’m going to write that down so I can use it!

      • http://eselfemploymentideas.net/ selfemployedbob

         @JoshuaWRivers  @Al Smith  Me three!

        • cabinart

           @selfemployedbob  @JoshuaWRivers  @Al Smith I wonder if we actually could memorize it! (If I write it down, I’ll lose the piece of paper.)

        • http://eselfemploymentideas.net/ selfemployedbob

           @cabinart  @JoshuaWRivers  @Al Smith Just wrote it on a sticky note and put it on my monitor.  Someone already asked me, “what are you going to do with that”?  I said, “I’m going to treat people how I want to be treated”.  She said, “that’s just weird”.  Ha!  Perfect!

    • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ uma_maheswaran

      That’s great CARE idea. It’s a simple yet powerful way of engaging our team members.