The Best Blessings Are Free


Posted on November 5, 2009 by Blake Leath

I apologize for being remiss these past three weeks and not posting -- I cling to my bias: If one doesn't have anything worth saying, remain silent.

Hopefully there's a pony in the pile today worth finding.

I had a recent client engagement that simply reminded me, "Most of what we value is free." 

Too often, organizations focus on the 'extrinsics' (the 'havings and holdings') and strive to motivate employees through pay, policies, and pavement.  You know, bigger checks, better procedures, larger cubes or offices, designated parking, etc.

Along the way, they sometimes lose site of 'meta-pay,' which is free.  The 'intrinsics' (the 'beings and feelings') that foster a sense of achievement, recognition, growth, respect, personal esteem, value, etc.

Interestingly, of course, extrinsics cost money and can become sinkholes.  How much is enough?  A key fob, a company jacket, a steak dinner..."What have you done for me lately?"

When the intrinsics fall by the wayside, people receive too few at-a-boys and arm hugs to realize how much they are appreciated.

This past week, solely because I passed a hallmark birthday, I've received way more than my deserved share of arm hugs and at-a-boys.  And like everyone, I beam. 

More than wrapped packages, what I'll remember -- and what we all remember -- are the feelings communicated and shared by those who care.

So to the extent you can, seek to be that employer -- and person -- who engenders a particularly authentic, selfless and magnetic feeling in others, one whereby they know how much they mean to you.