O Great One!

Oh Great One.jpg

Author: David Novak, former CEO of Yum! Brands    

Key passages for development professionals:

Pages 99-100: A senior staff person responding to the CEO’s emphasis on recognizing employees for jobs well done.

“I just don’t think that recognition is going to work with my staff.  These are results-oriented, metric driven, high-performing team members.  That’s why I hired them in the first place.  They’re not the type to go in for all that fluffy stuff.  And because we work as a team, singling some-one out is just going to make the others jealous. I don’t want to motivate one person while demotivating everyone else. 

The CEO’s response: “What I don’t think you understand is that this isn’t fluffy stuff.  It’s very much about results that make a difference to this company’s bottom line. And it’s about driving future results by sending a clear message about what behaviors lead to results. When we start recognizing the right behaviors, it will fuel the right kind of competition and collaboration among our people.”

NOTE:  In the fundraising profession there is Knowledge (hard skills) and Wisdom (soft skills).  It use to be called the Science of fundraising and the Art of fundraising.  The knowledge side is often seen as the most important, and it is the foundation that all development officers must have to perform.  But the top performers in all fields know that WISDOM plus knowledge is what leaps them to the top of the profession!

Pages 102-103: The next week the same senior staff person begins a recognition program for her team.

She announces to her team, “As you all know, we have been working on a long, hard project. So at our new CEO’s suggestion I’m handed out my first ever TOP SCORER AWARD.  I asked you all to vote on this because so many of you did so much to make our project successful, and this person got the most votes.  Jack, can you come up here please, to get your award.” As she said that, she pulled something out of a box and held it up. It was a miniature old-school video game console with a plaque mounted on the back that read: TOP SCORER AWARD.

He said in an  this is amazed voice, “It is just like a small version of the ones I used to play as a kid! I love it!”   

NOTE:  This is what at Crouch & Associates we call the “dead skate.”  It is when your thoughtful stewardship represents what is meaningful to the donor instead of what is meaningful to your organization.   It takes strategic collective intelligence from a staff to get stewardship right!

Page 105: The CEO telling his staff we can’t afford raises now, but “The studies show that the most common reason people leave their jobs doesn’t have anything to do with money at all.  It’s more often about the environment they work in, about having a tense relationship with their boss or feeling undervalued for the work they do. “  

NOTE: At Crouch & Associates we refer to building trust on your team as, “passing the baton.” Without trust, good relationships, and emotional intelligence as a team efficiency and effectiveness diminishes.  Development leaders spend most personal development dollars on knowledge but few on Wisdom.  The business world is far ahead of the nonprofit world when it comes to training in this area. 

Page 106: The CEO continues: “That’s why what we really need around here are coaches, not bosses.  People don’t want to work for bosses,  they want to work for people who help them achieve their potential.”

NOTE: Every boss in the fundraising business should be a coach.  This means not telling team members what to do, but giving them a pathway learn.  Asking questions of your staff is a key component. An example is after direct mail piece has gone out:  “Thank you for your effort.  What about our process should we sustain and what can we improve?”

Page 112: The CEO on another occasion talking to a senior staff member, “My grandfather used to call this the shadow of the leader.  If people see the leadership acting in a certain way or not taking part in something, then they think it’s ok for them to do the same, even when they’ve been told explicitly to do the opposite.”

NOTE:  As a Vice President of Development I knew my staff was watching everything I did, from work habits, to letter writing, to conducting meetings, to dealing with personal issues.  As a college president I learned that shadow was much, much larger.  Expressing gratitude creates a ripple of gratitude within an organization.

Pages 209-212: Ten Guiding Principles for Inspiring Great Recognition that Improves the ROI.

Recognition, or showing genuine gratitude, is the greatest form of encouragement and inspiration. By following these key principles. You can motivate your staff, drive real results, and feed your soul and theirs --- all at the same time!

Principle #1: People won’t care about you if you don’t care about them.

Principle #2: The best way to show people you care is to listen to them.

Principle #3: A Great Idea Can come from anywhere.

Principle #4: Recognize great work and great ideas whenever and wherever you see them.

Principle #5: Make Recognition a catalyst for results.

Principle #6: Make it fun.

Principle #7: Make it personal.

Principle #8: Recognition is universal in all cultures.

Principle #9: Giving recognition is a privilege for the giver.

Principle #10: Say thank you every chance you get.

NOTE:  Recognition, or showing genuine gratitude, is the greatest form of encouragement and inspiration. By following these key principles. You can motivate your staff, drive real results, and feed your soul and theirs --- all at the same time!