Many years ago (back in the 90’s) my boss taught me about WOWing your project teams, staff and clients. What is a WOW? A WOW moment is an unexpected act of courtesy and kindness. Most often, they happen with spur of the moment ideas. These can be as simple as a hand written note, helping a teammate move into their new house, seeing someone is having a hard day and picking them up a starbucks coffee or even seeing a newspaper or magazine article your teammate was featured in and getting it laminated.
A personal one that I had happen to me was the CEO of my organization took me out on the track and let me drive his Austin Martin (this still makes me smile, since I’m a car guy).
A recent WOW I gave to a person on my staff was tickets to a Badger’s Men Basketball game. A few weeks before this the person mentioned to me that they graduated from UW Madison but had never been to a Men’s basketball game (and they had been putting in a ton of extra time at work too). A few weeks later a friend called and told me he was dropping off some tickets for a game and I knew the perfect person to pass them on to. I wrote a card up and drop it at their desk. The feedback from the rest of my staff was that they opened the card, saw the tickets and just stared at them with an open mouth for 2 minutes. I think I got my WOW!
What is a HEROes?
Another element that I like to use on my teams is a bottom up flow of ideas. Some people really embrace these and I call them HEROes (Highly Empowered Resourceful Operatives; I read about this in the book titled "Empowered" by authors Josh Bernoff and Ted Shadler). The HEROes are driven by a desire to create improvements on their own initiative rather than living with the status quo. Once you identify a person as a HEROes you need to embrace them and make sure they are leading your key organizational changes and your key clients.