Delegating Recognition is Not Effective Leadership

Posted on January 10, 2013


Reward RibbonIn this five-part series on Great Leaders L – E – A – R – N we come to today’s word: REWARD.

Two days ago, when we looked at ENGAGE, I ended the post with this: Great leaders engage in learning and they are not too proud to acknowledge anyone to be their teacher. Today, we take this acknowledgement a little further. For great leaders will not only learn, but they will also give credit where credit is due. Great leaders do not hesitate to admit they have learned from someone with less experience or with a less significant title.

It may be as simple as saying “I was not aware of that; Thank you for sharing it.” Or, “Wow, I have never thought of it that way. What an insightful perspective.” Or, it may simply be sending a complimentary email or publicly acknowledging the contribution in a staff meeting. Great leaders don’t hide the contribution of others, they reward it.

The reward most valued is simple acknowledgement—from the right person. Employees value the compliments and accolades of coworkers, but the affirmation from a supervisor has a much greater impact. If the president of the company, or another C-level leader, affirms the employee then this affirmation will be felt at a deeper level.

Great leaders don’t delegate recognition. Great leaders don’t rely on a reward and recognition program to substitute for their personal words of affirmation. Great leaders don’t usurp the glory of a new idea from the one who generated it. Great leaders don’t view the paycheck as the only thank-you to their team.  Rather, great leaders are humble. Great leaders lead with love. Great leaders personally affirm the individual contribution of their team members. Great leaders eagerly give credit where credit is due.


Join me tomorrow  as we conclude Great Leaders L – E – A – R – N

 L:  LISTEN – Great leaders LISTEN to the opinions of others.

E:  ENGAGE – Great leaders ENGAGE in learning.

A:  ALLOW – Great leaders ALLOW others to lead.

R:  REWARD – Great leaders REWARD those for whom it is due.