When I first got in the multifamily property management industry I was an office manager for a regional office of a fairly large owner/developer. The company has since merged with other companies, but I’ve never forgotten what I learned there from the talented people I worked with.
One year my boss gave me a motivational picture, which I still have in my office today. It says, “When the day is over and you have done your best, wait the results in peace.” My boss was Terry Danner, who went on to co-found Riverstone Residential and is now at SightPlan. I still tell myself this on those days where I did my best, gave it my all, and in the real world results are not always instant, I have to remind myself to wait (which, by the way, I am absolutely horrible at doing but I’m practicing doing it more these days).
Waiting is never fun. Whether it’s for a flight which was delayed, a huge sale at your favorite retail store, a new business to get off the ground, a vaccine for Covid-19, a new baby, or a compliment or “at-a-boy” from your boss for your hard work, the waiting part is never easy. Especially when it’s for something which is really important to you, something you put your heart and soul into doing, you want instant gratification and/or recognition. You want to know you are appreciated!
I’ve seen some get so worked up and anxious about being acknowledged for something they did, when it never came they gave up, their attitudes turned sour, and their history of consistent stellar performance went from top notch to barely working at all. Instead, they put all their energy into feeding their emotions with sour grapes.
Know this – it’s more likely you are appreciated more than you realize, even though you may not get told this often or at all.
I think all of us need to realize not all the people we work with are wired to say great job, thank you, or give any praise at all. It doesn’t mean they aren’t appreciative of the job you did or how successful your endeavors were, it just means it’s not in their nature to give those office high-fives right away. You may have to wait before your efforts are acknowledged (if they are at all…don’t be surprised if some never are). Don’t take it personally and try to remember you may just have to wait a bit for that pat on the back. But if it never comes, take comfort in knowing you did your best and gave it your all.
What actually does it mean to wait? I can hear a lot of you saying it’s annoying, frustrating, and not something you are going to do. But what does it actually mean? The dictionary says it means to stay where one is or delay action until a particular time or until something else happens.
What does peace mean? There are many definitions, but in this context it means when you feel at peace with yourself, you are content to be the person you are. I’m going to add also you are content with the job you did and that you know you did your best! Doing your best, to me, doesn’t mean doing just enough to get by or doing the bare minimum so the job or task gets done. It means putting your whole heart and soul into the project; putting every ounce of energy you had to get the job done.
In our society today we often find ourselves expecting everything to happen or occur instantly. But the truth is some things are not going to happen instantly and then there are some things that were not meant to happen instantly (so don’t try to force it). If you think about it, instant coffee only lasts for a certain period of time before it goes bad. Wouldn’t you rather have something that took time and had a more lasting effect or impact? I know I would. I would much rather have a sincere “thank you” then to have a quick “thanks” just to get an obligatory bit of recognition.
As leaders in our companies, we need to remember to acknowledge a job well done, no matter how small or large, it’s important to let our teams know they are appreciated. As members of the teams in our companies, we need to remember not everyone understands the importance of recognizing a job well done. It’s up to us to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, we did our best, gave it our all, and be at peace with a job well done.
The rewards will come, maybe not how you expected them to arrive (probably better than you could have imagined). Remember, you’re just going to have to learn to wait sometimes!
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