This past winter I experienced the fulfillment of a life-long dream. I entered my modified 1941 Lincoln Continental convertible in the Portland Roadster Show. It was an exhilarating experience, pulling my car in the back door of the Convention Center. Watching all the other cars of every age, description, size and configuration, from a battery-powered quarter mile racer to a twin engine dragster, I'm sure I had drool running down my chin much of the weekend!
On Sunday afternoon when the trophies were marched out for the awards ceremony, it was fun to congratulate Ken Austin, the president of Austin Industries and co-founder of Adec Dental Equipment, the second largest dental equipment manufacturer in the world, when he received a first place trophy for his 1937 Ford roadster. Joan, Ken's wife, purchased the car for him while he was in Korea in 1955. Of course I was thrilled when I was called up to receive a second place trophy for my class. The top award winner of the show was a 1937 Desoto Airflow, an extremely rare car finished in an extraordinary color combination. The interior and engine were beautiful and it had a complete chrome undercarriage. I'd enjoyed visiting with the owner and his wife during the weekend. I was thrilled to see them win this very deserving award.
As I visited with the Desoto owners and looked at their work in progress pictures, I noticed their home garage where they had done much of the work. I admired the fact that he could personally do much of the work himself, something I certainly couldn't do. I noticed the size of their house, realized that his car is worth almost as much as his house. This made me think, ponder the question once again; what is it that drives us to do the things we do? The better we can understand our own personal motivation, the happier, more peaceful, and more successful we will be. Among our chief motivations is the desire to
stand out, the desire to be extraordinary, the desire to be distinctive, unique, special.
We often will go to great lengths to achieve this feeling of being special, unique, to get this sense of accomplishment. The variety of ways individuals go about trying to achieve this feeling of uniqueness, the need to be special, is as varied as the number of people on the planet. We may never be able to completely understand each other because what makes you feel special is a little different than what makes me feel special. So long as we are doing productive things that help others, our personal desire to stand out makes the world a better place. Eccentric could best be defined as a selfcentered, self-serving way of striving to be unique.
Your job as an empowering leader is to remember that your team, everyone on it, wants to look, to be special, wants to be recognized and acknowledged, and help them gain this acknowledgement as they help you achieve your organization's goals.
Your job is to create an environment where people are recognized for the contribution they make to the success and achievement of your organization's goals. Contrast this to a recent note we received from a client's employee: "If an employee is a good, conscientious worker, they are rarely acknowledged except to have more work put upon them. In performance reviews, a few good things are said, but they are mostly about 'how you need to improve'." . .
Today would be a great day to help your associates, everyone on your team, gain a special feeling of being recognized and appreciated for their contribution to your organization's goals.