The magic of appreciation

Are you in a role within an organisation where you work hard, do the right thing and don’t get the appreciation or recognition that you feel you deserve?

As a programme and project manager a significant part of my duties are administrative.  As with many administrative roles, you’re often given near-impossible tasks with unrealistic deadlines and when you achieve the task the typical response is…..

“OK, thanks….. just leave the report over there”

It’s not that we – who do the day-to-day operational work and don’t necessarily get appreciated – aren’t guilty of doing the same thing.

In fact, I’m sure that today when you turned on an electric appliance you probably didn’t call your electric supplier and thank them for the complex infrastructure, administration and work it took to make it possible for you to flick the switch.

Recognising this, I have, as a standard part of inducting staff into my team, made sure to manage expectations by highlighting this particular fact of life

To illustrate it, I refer to an episode of the deep, philosophical treatise of life on planet earth…. Futurama. In series 3, episode 20 (aka “Goodfellas”) the character ‘Bender’ (a robot) has a conversation with ‘God’.  During the conversation ‘God’ notes the difficulties of leadership (or being God).  “You can’t do too much for them or they’ll get dependent on you.  And if you do too little for them, they lose hope.” Ultimately….. (watch the19 second video for the profound insight)


I say all of that to say this….

Even when you do the right thing and do it well, you may not get recognised. In fact, people may not even acknowledge that you are even necessary.  This is why it’s important to be your own best publicist.  Not that you should always shout about what you do.  Maybe you should allow others to shout about you.

Puzzle me this, puzzle me that….

Do you know your own value? Have you taken inventory on your successes and reminded yourself of your accomplishments?  Have you taken time to thank and acknowledge the accomplishments, work and contribution that others make to your life?

If you are going to show your gratitude, please ensure that you follow a few simple guidelines to saying thank you;

  • Be sincere and authentic
  • Say it when it counts
  • Say it or show it in a way that THEY would appreciate

What often happens from here is magic. And it’s likely that no one will even know you did it…. but that’s OK that’s the way it works.