Do We Recognize Greatness
I believe in transparency in business. At times, not always, this means letting people into deeper parts of our lives. Most of my clients and business contacts know things about me personally. They know my wife’s name (Sherri), they know I have two kids (Oliver and Graham), they know that I love smoking meat, and they know about my faith. Today I will let you all into one of the hardest times of my life. Today is the day we lay my dad to rest.
Reflecting on my dads life, and hearing stories from other family members and friends of my dad, I heard and remember many instances of greatness. Some of the most profound things that I am taking to heart is that he never spoke ill of anyone, he was slow to speak which meant he thought through everything. Never a wasted word. He loved people and was intentional about spending time with his kids and grandkids. He was thoughtful and wise beyond words.
Nothing will kickstart the revelation of greatness in a person like their deaths, or in business sometimes when people leave our organizations. I want to recognize and acknowledge greatness in those around me. This isn’t a new concept for me, it just seems appropriate that we talk about this today.
So what do we need to do as leaders? Acknowledge every moment of greatness that we see. How do we define greatness? I believe that many people have extremely superficial definitions of greatness. Achieving wealth, acquiring things, going to exotic places. I would like to define greatness by the lasting impact of ones life measured by the lives a person touches and improves.
In our business, our team hits that benchmark. They go the extra mile consistently. They constantly strive to improve themselves, which in turn means we can provide more value. They care about our clients. They put up with me and my nonsense. It feels like family. I am blessed to work with our awesome team.
Please, if you’re reading this, acknowledge those small moments of greatness. Do it for a week. Thank your team for their efforts. Thank them for going outside their job description to ensure a project is successful. Thank them for breaking the rules to ensure customers/clients/guests are looked after. Thank them for smiling at work.
Start taking notes about positive efforts. Don’t note shortcomings, just focus on the positive. For one week. You can do it.
If we intentionally focus on and note positive efforts, we’ll start to see how great our teams actually are. Those pesky annual reviews don’t need to have a 10 point plan on ridding poor behaviour or any such thing. Instead it should have a 100 point praise report. Let’s thank our teams, our friends, our families for their efforts.
Thank you dad for the greatness you shared through your life. You never thought too much of yourself. Your humility and love for others, along with that unbelievable depth of wisdom was enough for others who really knew you to recognize that greatness. I pray your greatness will live on in the lives of those you touched.
For my dad.
Jacob Karl Hoeppner
September 29, 1937 – August 1, 2016