Recognition is fun but the real joy is getting the work done well.

My first manager once told me “if you make the cover of a magazine you’ve done something wrong.”  Whether the cover was good or bad publicity it indicated that things are out there enough to draw attention.  I’m not going to say that this should be a hard and fast rule but it can be a good indicator.  Recognition also works on the classic bell curve.

The best case scenario is that great work builds to great recognition.  The worst case is either no recognition with great work or great recognition with bad work.  Both occur with about equal regularity.  The first of the worst case scenarios leads to employees losing motivation and not delivering at all over time.  Not recognizing great work brings the overall level of the whole team down because you are actively discouraging good work.  The second of the worst case scenarios breeds talkers and showers who can pretend to good work and talk their way out of bad situations but they aren’t capable of doing great work (all talk and great work are usually mutually exclusive character traits).

As with most things in life balance is necessary.  Without balance you will ultimately find yourself surrounded with people not capable of taking you to the next level.