Thankless Job or Thankful Culture?

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Everyone complains…

And if for one second you think that entrepreneurs and C-level types don’t complain let me let you in on a little secret.

The entrepreneurs, founders and CEOs are the first one’s to tell you how they raised money, mortgaged their homes, took no comp, work all day/night, how they have to thank everyone else for working hard but nobody gives them any credit… and how they have a thankless job.

Do you know how I know this?

Yes, from my experience of people telling me this all day long.

Yes, the CEOs I mentor and their teams telling me this because there is nobody that they can talk to openly.

And yes, because I used to do this.

(Past tense)

I used to say, “Look at me… I did x, y, z… I sacrificed x, y, z… and that person can’t even make 2 phone calls?…. geez I have a thankless role.”

In fact, the work society tells you that its OK… that if you are in customer support, that’s what you signed up for. Or if you are in operations, that’s what you get. Or if you are an entrepreneur, the life of an entrepreneur is a thankless one.

That’s just WRONG.

You deserve better. I deserve better. We deserve better.

You don’t have a thankless job. You just don’t have a thankful culture.

Ah, profound Sharran. WTF does that even mean?

Here are my Top 3 things that are at the core of a thankful culture.

  1. Asking for help
  2. See Something Awesome. Say Something Awesome.
  3. Thankfulness starts with me

Let me break it down really quickly for you.

1: ASK FOR HELP

This is actually beyond asking for help…

The fastest way to a culture of camaraderie and appreciation for one and other is asking for help. When I hear things like “Sharran, can I talk to for one minute about an idea” or “Sharran, can you help me with this client?” Or “Sharran, can you record this video for us?” Or “@channel, can someone help me with Jimmy’s onboarding?” is the mechanical foundation for a powerful culture of support and camaraderie.

The minute we stop asking for help, is the instant our entire thankfulness culture breaks down.

2: SEE SOMETHING AWESOME. SAY SOMETHING AWESOME.

For some reason there is a negative connotation to “see something, say something”… but in my world whenever you see something awesome, say something awesome.

  • You see a great post by a client on Facebook about us, screenshot it and say something.
  • You see a great press mention about us, say something.
  • You see our daily number hit record levels, say something.

Remember, a culture a camaraderie is built on mutual celebration because we get what we celebrate.

3: THANKFULNESS STARTS WITH ME

It’s really simple, the fastest way to feel “more thankful” and less like I have a thankless job is to light up everyone else with recognition. Not for BS reasons, but for legitimate reasons.

If you see support ticket resolved elegantly by the team, recognize them.

If you see an amazing webinar your teammate, recognize him even if you think he doesn’t need it or care for it.

If you see client support handled a tough situation with grace, recognize them for it.

If you see a cool new podcast workflow just happen automagically and you get thousands of downloads to help people, recognize the team.

We need to continue to break through departmental lines and hierarchical lines for everything from wishing people on their birthdays (slackbot, come on) to recognizing what they are doing.

AS A LEADER, YOUR TEAM NEEDS TO HEAR YOU SAY THINGS LIKE THIS:

“Thank you for jamming the extra nights and weekends to support the teams.”

“Thank you for pushing beyond the normal day-to-day responsibilities to get us launched.”

“Thank you for working in line with our mantra of: friendly and collaborative”

“Thank you for doing what most people wish they were doing everyday and what most people will never get to do in their lives.”

“I want you to know how grateful I am personally for your hard work and commitment to supporting the next big growth and contribution phase of our company.”

“I know I don’t say this enough… but we couldn’t do what we do without you. Thank you.”

or just… “Hey… thank you” will work just fine.

Remember, here are 3 things are at the core of a thankful culture:

  1. Asking for help
  2. See Something Awesome. Say Something Awesome.
  3. Thankfulness starts with me

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