Everybody wants to know when they've really succeeded at something. A man jumped out of his car to talk to me last Friday as I was walking out of an office building. He said: "All of us are just doing our best; why can't they see that?" "They" -meaning his top management.
But top management is "too busy" to see the work we're doing; "too busy" to congratulate us, "too busy" to praise us when we do it better. So why wait for them? We can chart our own success.
Let's say I'm the hospital technician who rolls the guerney into your hospital room, puts you on the guerney, takes you down the elevator, and hands you over to the operating room nurses. The most important part of my job is to make you feel safe and secure before going into surgery.
What if I began to chart the number of times a patient thanks me? If a patient really thanks me, I know I did and said comforting things on the trip to the operating room. There will be two bars on my chart: One for the number of patients I carried, and one for the number who thanked me.
Leaders keep track of their own success; they don't wait for management. They have their own charts, hanging on their walls, for all to see.