We all want dignity, to feel we have the esteem of others, to feel that we are important and have influence.  Few of us wish to live in obscurity or feel insignificant, and no one wants to feel mediocre.  Prestige is the level of respect at which one is regarded by others. 

Distinction can bring prestige.  Awards, such as the Nobel, an Oscar, Employee of the Month, Customer of the Month, and MVP can elevate our standing in the eyes of others.  Prizes also offer prestige.  Sales awards offer prestige.  And what do many sales reps do after they win an annual sales award?  They win it again next year, or get darn close! 

It is natural to want some proof of achievement, some way to look back and simply show someone what we did.  My elder daughter, Sofia, feels prestige from earning her black belt in Tang Soo Do; younger daughter, Ella, feels prestige from the kudos she gets on her art projects and witty rhyming.  Heck, I still have my Little League baseball trophies (I’m not presently displaying them but I might, and I sure did back in the day).   

For wins and grins, be ears and cheers.  Sharing the credit leads to more credit to share.  Give kudos.  Prominence is good in the right doses.  A little deserved fame can start a progress flame.  We could all use a pat on the back. And it feels just as good to give someone else’s back a pat.  As Samuel Goldwyn, the G in MGM, said, “When someone does something good, applaud!  You will make two people happy.”  Get a boost from being the boost.  

Help people feel they have game, and help them celebrate that game.  The recognition does not have to be complicated or even have an earth-shattering “WOW” factor.  One of my favorite restaurants, The Bavarian Grill (BavarianGrill.com) in Plano, Texas, does something cool enough and it’s simple. 

They created a Stein Club that offers patrons the opportunity to earn a stein (ceramic beer mug) with the patron’s name emblazoned on it.  The patrons have their choice of taking their personalized stein home or having it hang on the walls of the Bavarian Grill’s Biergärten (beer garden).  Most choose the second option and feel some prestige in having a stein with their name on it displayed in the beer garden. (I know I do.)

However, I am not only talking about awards.  Praise works, too.  Compliments can offer prestige and a mental leg up.    Express a sincere compliment, even on little stuff. 

“I like your hair.” 

“Cool shoes.”   

“Good show.”

The Origin of a Leg Up:

Our idiom “leg up” comes from receiving help when getting on a horse. Someone cups their hands, the rider puts his or her foot in there, and the helper lifts the rider up as the rider throws the other leg up and over the horse.

Contributed by:  Dean Lindsay, Award Winning Speaker and Author of The Progress Challenge & Co-Author of Stepping Stones to Success   

Dean Lindsay, Sales and Leadership Speaker