Use Pink Slips to motivate during challenging - and all other - times

I receive a monthly e-newsletter from the fine folks at Contented Cows and religiously read their blog. The following is in their current newsletter and is a wonderful read. If you like it, please read my previous post on Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and consider making even the smallest of donations. Please.

Try Pink Slips to Motivate in Tough Times
By Bill Catlette

On Thursday morning shortly before 5AM, I checked my luggage for a 6AM flight at the Delta counter in Memphis. Greeting me with a hug and a 5,000 watt smile was a counter agent by the name of Verna, a lady we've written about before. Even more resplendent than usual, she was totally decked out in pink attire, in celebration of Delta's campaign to raise awareness (and funds) for breast cancer research .

After exchanging pleasantries, I asked for her thoughts about the pink campaign at Delta. At this point, Verna practically gushed with pride about "the opportunity to participate", as opposed to "some program they're making us do"), the research dollars being generated, and indeed her own mother's successful battle with the disease. A follow-up conversation with a flight attendant aboard my flight (no, it wasn't the pink plane) yielded similar feelings.

Here's the deal: All of us, at some level, want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. Leaders who find a way to tap into that desire reap the reward of a significant motivational burst. This has not been lost on managers in the hospitality industry who amp the efforts of their workforce through sponsorship and participation in causes such as Share Our Strength, dedicated to ending hunger.

It has become manifestly apparent of late that, for the next little while, each of us will probably tend to be more self-absorbed than usual, given the state of the economy, concern for our livelihood and financial welfare, and, did I mention two shooting wars? In view of that, it would seem that smart managers might be able to redirect some of that attention to a worthy cause, do some good, and motivate more "Verna-like" behavior in the process. That sounds like a triple play to me. Give it a try.

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