The CEO Talent Fitness Plan: The Praise Game

The CEO Talent Fitness Plan - The Praise Game

The most successful people in the world are quite gifted at praising others and accepting praise as it comes their way. Why is this so important for a CEO?


Praise fuels good throughout an organization. It moves people to do good for you and to go above and beyond for you. Praise generates gratitude, making it far more effective than scaring people into performance or worse, doing nothing at all.


Most of us find that it makes sense to give praise to others. But, how we accept praise is just as important. If someone walks up to you and says, “What you did yesterday was the difference between securing that customer and losing them to our competitors. Amazing work!” If you respond, “Oh, it was nothing…” what have you done? You’ve basically told them, “don’t compliment me again.”


So, here are a few ways to praise others. Please try to make at least two contacts per day this week. Watch what happens.


Verbal Praise

Who’s gone above and beyond their typical contribution in the last few months? What have you done to acknowledge them? Was it enough?


What about someone who works equally hard but does it in a part of the business you don’t feel connected with?


How can you praise that person in a way that changes their day?


Use the phone or go meet them and be generous.


“You know that all nighter you pulled a month ago? Well, you report gave us the means to close the deal and this is the 4th or 5th time you’ve pulled that off. Thank you.”


Make it a learning experience to deliver two-verbal praise moments. Even the busiest executive can find the minutes to make this happen.


Endorsements – Linked-In

Make it a point to visit Linked-In once-a-day this week and write endorsements for people who work for you, who used to work for you and who make your life better. Once again, be generous, creative, and kind.


As a CEO, your success is driven by great people doing great things. Using praise as a lever to drive both individual and cultural performance presents literally no downside but enormous upside. Intentionally give it try this week.


At the end of the week, please answer the following questions:

1   How did the praise exercise work for me?


2   How did it impact the people I reached out to?


3   How did their response impact me?


4   What could praise do to improve our culture? Our retention? Our productivity?



Brought to you by Jackson Lynch, President – 90 Consulting

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