Christmas In July (Part 9)
The owner of S and Company was humbled by the accolades he received from the Christmas in July launch meeting. He had empowered and gained the gift of empowerment that would change the way he led the company. He shook almost every hand as they exited the meeting and accepted the statements of support, passion and drive they shared. He was surprised by the number of flashes he saw in the audience as pictures were taken.
He realized that the meeting had been like a stone dropped in the water or a radio wave broadcast, the ripples created energy that would touch all in the wake. This was emphasized when he saw the postings that began to appear on Facebook through the company page and individual pages. He got a few calls from the media and some of his competitors wanting to know, “What Happened?” Since the meeting was staged so quickly, the rumor mill had been denied the chance to alter the message, intent or impact. Reactions that would follow did not have the power that an initiative well-launched, brings.
He had engaged from the stage. His presentation featured pictures of people and success stories and there were many shout-outs of recognition and thanks. Each manager, division leader and peer representative had been recognized and tasked with accountability now spread throughout the company. He had also asked them for their help, support and shown a transparency that was greeted with appreciation. A genuine request for help with a worthy reason seemed to bring out the best in people, including willingness to pitch in.
Pitch in they did! Several had back burner deals that with a little work could be posted. Others had things they intended to work on at some point that they could bring to the forefront. Perhaps most interesting was the number of people who loved the strategic concepts he had shown where certain types of buyers were most likely to result in multiple sales, approaches to relatively low hanging fruit and ways to utilize company campaigns. They asked about teams, additional information and requests for leaders in these pursuits.
It was interesting to see that when they were pulling together as a team, the individual interests that were often thorns in everyone’s side seemed to take a back seat. Activity and focus on the objectives also brought natural talent to the forefront. Winning together meant that each one also would win. He had not thought that it could be done with such a large company, spread over a lot of geography.
He knew that he would have to keep feeding the wave so that energy was constantly renewed. It occurred to him then that every achievement organization from scouting to armed services to sales used recognition as a fuel. Whether it was a milestone reached, a competency conquered or entrance to a select group, recognition was the fuel – frequent, meaningful and the more public the better. It needed to include not just the planned points of recognition but small items as well, including personal touches. He also made sure that in the recognition, family and friends would be able to witness the limelight.
He decided to write a letter to the family of each person in his company thanking them for their ongoing support. He would briefly outline the initiative and let them know that this meant that everyone was putting forth a bit of extra effort. He would let them know that there were rewards and bonuses for successful completion of the goals. The letter went out the next day.
The waves had expanded from a single point to gaining energy of their own. Each time a barrier was encountered it did not stop the wave, but rather sent it in a new direction with more energy. The activities built around the initiative helped him discover many gifts from strategic surprise through recognition and inclusion. It certainly was Christmas in July and he felt that the dollars would be reaped well into December and beyond.