• Jayne McQuillan

Recognition and Acknowledgement... It's the Little Things!

Updated: Jan 9, 2019



This past week I happened to be doing some cleaning up in our bonus room (kid's room) and came across an envelope.  When I opened it, I saw that it was my daughter's college diploma, still in the cardboard envelope in which it was mailed.  I have to say it made me stop and ask myself, how did her high school career and four years of college culminate into just this one piece of paper.  It also made me feel guilty that, what I'm sure many of you feel as parents, a lot of hard work and support to get her to that point resides in a certificate that demonstrates the individual and collective accomplishment.... and it has been forgotten in a pile of "stuff."   


In reality, we do this all the time.  We as individuals rarely take the time to recognize and/or acknowledge the accomplishments that have been achieved.  I know that providing recognition and acknowledging the accomplishments and efforts of others, is not my strong suit.  I look at things and say, "great", you did it, now what do you need to do next.  I'm not one to sit back and enjoy what has been accomplished before setting the next goal, and I'm not good at saying, "job well done."  I'm always looking at what more can be accomplished or what improvements can be made.  And as many of you, I'm my own worst critic.


My daughter's college diploma is an example of what we shouldn't do as leaders and as parents.  Now, I'm not advocating an "everyone gets a trophy" mindset, but I am saying that we need to take the time to recognize true accomplishment and success, and appreciate what effort was required to achieve it, both in time and energy.   I don't know about you, but one of my goals as a parent was to get my kids through school, and hopefully through college, so that they could provide for themselves and be good community members and contributors to society.  Obviously, my daughter has done that and yet, we have quickly moved on and said what's next. 


At this Thanksgiving and Christmas season, it is a time to be thankful for what we have.  I am most grateful for my health, my family, and my business.  I am fortunate to do what I love every day because of the wonderful clients I have, and the great network of people that trust and believe in me to serve them well.  I have a wonderful husband and three wonderful children who make me proud to be their mom.  And, I am thankful for my health and the health of my family. 


When you look around your office and when you go home at night, recognize and appreciate those who make your life better every day and help you to be successful.  The mere "thank you", or "I appreciate what you do", or "congratulations on a job well done" may seem small and irrelevant, but can have the most positive impact on a person's day. 


I'm sure you have your own stories of where you yourself didn't feel recognized or acknowledged by someone after you put forth significant effort.  How motivating is that?  Again, it's the little things!


I bet you're wondering what I did with that diploma.  Well, I decided to have it framed and give it to my daughter for Christmas.  I'm proud of what she accomplished and I want her to know that I recognize all of the hard work she put in to achieve that success.  Although the certificate is just a piece of paper, what it symbolizes is so much more.  But more importantly, letting her know that I appreciate the wonderful young lady she has become, is really what it's all about. 


The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.                                - William James  


Jayne McQuillan, CPA, MBA, CEPA is a strategic management consultant, and the owner of Journey Consulting, LLC, in Green Bay



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