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Imagine that Dorothy and friends have just completed their incredible assignment of elminating the Wicked Witch of the East. Returning to the Emerald City, they link arms and smile as the little trouble-maker Toto skips behind them carelessly.
They stand before Oz, who is busy pulling levers and trying to create his next magical moment. They tell him that they’ve succeeded in their mission, and they’re ready for their balloon ride home, their heart, their brain, and their courage.
He doesn’t even turn around. He tells them in a muffled voice that they already have all of those things. He hands Dorothy a set of instructions for the ruby alippers, and tells the Lion, Scarecrow and TinMan that their respective awards will be sent via interoffice mail.
They walk out of the palace with the answers they need, but no sense of accomplishment or recognition.
In a recent blog about Google’s new CEO, author Peter Cohan says that one of Google’s top three challenges is a “disappointing work environment.” According to his research, “Google does a mediocre job of rewarding talented people — it seems to stack up talent without tapping fully its potential . . . While Google employees work in small teams, teamwork is not rewarded.”
Yes, even King Google fails to tap the people who work for them. We bow at the alter of project plans, while failing to thank somebody for the long hours they put into their jobs so that project could live and breathe in the three-dimensional world called life.
Every year sales trips are coveted because a few people actually get recognized for their hard work. However, it’s usually the same top salespeople that get recognized every year, eliminating any motivation for all of the staff people and others that helped them succeed.
If leaders don’t stop ignoring the emotional, motivational needs of their people they are going to need a lot more magical levers to keep their companies afloat. Leaders need to:
Even though Dorothy and friends already had what they sought, the Wizard still looked them in the eye and congratulated them on making the journey. That high touch moment is what made each of them believe in themselves.
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