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Recognize Contributions

How do you celebrate small wins and the collective achievements of your team? Recognizing contributions is the focus of this Leadership Minute.

Exemplary leaders know that leadership is much more an affair of the heart than merely a matter of the mind. Recognizing contributions means showing appreciation for individual excellence, as well as celebrating the values and victories of the team by creating a spirit of community.

Kouzes and Posner, authors of The Leadership Challenge and Encourage the Heart, suggest three essentials for you to include as common practice when recognizing contributions.

1. Expect the Best. Successful leaders have high expectations for themselves and others; they make sure their team members know what is expected of them.

2. Personalize Recognition. A cornerstone of meaningful recognition is that it’s perceived as personal. This lets people know that they are valued as unique individuals.

3. Be Personally Involved. As the leader, search for examples of team members doing things right. Your acts of recognition send clear messages about the importance and legitimacy of what people do.

Never underestimate the meaningful and lasting impact your genuine words of recognition and support provide, as they express belief and confidence in others. Be generous with your positives, recognizing both the big and small things team members do to achieve goals and model values.

To explore more ways to bring this practice into your leadership, attend the Academy’s Foundation Leadership Development Program. Register on our website,

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