Variety, the trade journal of the entertainment industry, sent me a copy of their beautiful, glossy and embossed Variety 500, the annual list of top movie producers, deal makers, executives, TV and film talent and the list goes on. It’s a stunning publication and it deserves a prominent place on coffee tables and in reception rooms.
And this should truly fascinate you, Faithful Reader – not only that an industry filled with some of the most powerful people on the planet pays attention to a “Top 500” list, looking for each other’s names in the book, comparing notes, judging where their friends, peers and enemies are, just like Trump sued to fight his way onto the Forbes 1000 – but also that people on top of the world still behave with lizard-brain thinking like the rest of us.
As humans, we all crave respect and we all love to be recognized.
Do members of the country club where I belong really need to see their names on a plaque each year for serving as a board member, hitting a hole in one or winning the annual championship? No. These are smart doctors, lawyers and business leaders of all types. If they really need recognition, they can look at the size of their bank accounts or advanced degrees and diplomas on the walls of their lavishly-decorated offices.
Do professional athletes really need to be given the game ball to recognize that they made an important contribution to the team? Doesn’t a lucrative contract make that point all on its own? If you are paid hundreds of millions of dollars to play a game, do you really need an MVP trophy and ring ceremony? No. These are some of the most talented people on the planet. They could look to their superior performance in every physical fitness and agility test known to mankind. Their god-like performance on the field or court should be enough affirmation. They can pat themselves on the back.
Do Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Tom Hanks really need any more applause or accolades? Aren’t we all very impressed by now? Several years ago, I sailed alongside Spielberg’s mega yacht and anchored next to David Geffen’s Rising Sun, which was hosting Oprah for the week. I can assure you, none of these individuals need any affirmation or recognition, so why do we give it? In other words, why is there a Variety 500 list?
We give and seek recognition, awards, affirmation and respect because these are fundamental to who we are as humans. We crave connection and status. It’s not wise to make this one’s only pursuit in life, but to assume Lebron James didn’t want to hold his last championship trophy or add another ring to his collection is to assume his efforts deserve to go unnoticed.
Your patients, employees and vendors are no different. If you own a private practice, there is a long list of people who want and need recognition from you. Our patient, referring doctor and employee newsletters are designed specifically to give recognition and show our respect. Patient appreciation events, continuing education training for your referring doctors and quarterly gifts and personal check-ins with your vendors and independent contractors are absolutely critical in achieving your goals and reminding everyone around you why they enjoy working with you: because you recognize them as individuals and for their contributions and achievements; for who they are and why they are important.
There is a famous quote about all the great things we can accomplish if no one cares who gets the credit. And while true, the quote requires an addendum. We can accomplish almost anything when the leader doesn’t care whether he or she gets the credit. Everyone else is waiting for their game ball. It’s best that you go ahead and give it to them