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Issue 572 - "A Small Acknowledgement Can Have a Big Impact" (Del Harris Part Fourteen)

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 11 Issue 572
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



In September of 2022, legendary coach Del Harris was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Over sixty years, Coach Harris has displayed excellence at every level, first as a player, then as a High School, College, NBA, and International Coach.
Coach Harris, in his excellent book, On Point: Four Steps To Better Life Teams, does a wonderful job of describing how "A Small Acknowledgement Can Have a Big Impact":
"Mature leaders are good at sharing credit, and a large part of that is accomplished by offering affirmation for a job well done. Team building thrives when leaders are quick to show recognition and give praise, even for what seem to be relatively minor items. Try to remember how you got to where you are when you’re in a higher position. Your workers and my players want to know two things: "What do you want me to do? And how do you think I am doing?" You must give them confidence in the overall vision and their part in it, along with a degree of ownership in the ongoing progress of the mission when they earn it."
When the president of the company tells the stock clerk the shelf that he or she is working on looks great, it has a significant impact. That employee will go home and share the news with their family, bringing smiles to the entire household. On the other hand, an inadvertent snub or a poorly worded email from the boss can have a negative impact on an employee’s attitude towards his/her job and the company. Unfortunately, some folks like to share bad news. All these little acknowledgements or lack thereof are how team cultures are actually built, not by posters or bulletin boards. These incidents, good or bad, are the topics of lunchrooms, locker rooms and dinner tables all over America.
What are the conversations like at your team members’ dinner tables?

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




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Application Exercise



The Family’s Homely Man

There never was a family without its homely man,
With legs a little longer than the ordinary plan,
An' a shock of hair that brush an' comb can't ever straighten out,
An' hands that somehow never seem to know what they're about;
The one with freckled features and a nose that looks as though
It was fashioned by the youngsters from a chunk of mother's dough.
You know the man I'm thinking of, the homely one an' plain,
That fairly oozes kindness like a rosebush dripping rain.
His face is never much to see, but back of it there lies
A heap of love and tenderness and judgment, sound and wise.

And so I sing the homely man that's sittin' in his chair,
And pray that every family will always have him there.
For looks don't count for much on earth; it's hearts that wear the gold;
An' only that is ugly which is selfish, cruel, cold.
The family needs him, Oh, so much; more, maybe, than they know;
Folks seldom guess a man's real worth until he has to go,
But they will miss a heap of love an' tenderness the day
God beckons to their homely man, an' he must go away.

He's found in every family, it doesn't matter where
They live or be they rich or poor, the homely man is there.
You'll find him sitting quiet-like and sort of drawn apart,
As though he felt he shouldn't be where folks are fine an' smart.
He likes to hide himself away, a watcher of the fun,
An' seldom takes a leading part when any game's begun.
But when there's any task to do, like need for extra chairs,
I've noticed it's the homely man that always climbs the stairs.

And always it's the homely man that happens in to mend
The little toys the youngsters break, for he's the children's friend.
And he's the one that sits all night to watch beside the dead,
And sends the worn-out sorrowers and broken hearts to bed.
The family wouldn't be complete without him night or day,
To smooth the little troubles out and drive the cares away.

Edgar Albert Guest (1881-1959)

Dedicated in loving memory to Richard Muehlhausen






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