Wednesday, November 17, 2010


In my endeavors with leadership at Drake I came across a book which has done wonders for me. It’s your Ship by Captain Abrashoff would be on my must read to lead list. One of the simple and effective notions discussed is validation. Everyone, regardless of your job, likes to know they are appreciated. The best leaders will take time to make sure they have face time with everyone in the organization to at genuinely thank them for what they do. I had this experience working in the admissions department, where I am the lowest ranked person. I do clerical work. If you are reading this as a prospective student, chances are any mailing you received, I and my cohorts of minimum wage earners assembled. A few days ago the head-honcho of our entire department came into our room. There is generally no reason to be in our room-other than the coffee machine, but he is on a different floor, and presumably has an office big enough for his own coffee machine. He stopped by just to say hello, chat with us and then at the end thanked us for what we were doing. Is what we do glorious work, no, its mundane, but it is sincerely appreciated by the top brass and knowing that helps ease the monotony. Imagine if the general came in to talk to privates just to say hey I really appreciate the work you are doing for this organization. Chances are they would remember that.
Instill validation in your own leadings. Every man in the fraternity was asked to give me the addresses and birthdays of his parents/guardians. On those birthdays I send a card from all of us brothers. At the end I always put in something about their son that I appreciate, an idea I borrowed from the book. I, like Captain Abrashoff, had a member come to me and thank me for sending that, and his father told him that he was proud of him, which didn’t happen often. It was a fantastic feeling.

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