We are down in Nicaragua for the holidays visiting some orphans, building memories, and spending some good family time together. But I wanted to take some time today to share with you something that we have done as a company that I believe can help you.
Twice a year – usually in June and December – we stop working for half a day and meet up with our entire DaniJohnson.com & Call to Freedom Int’l team. Every single person who is employed by any of our companies comes together and we use that time to celebrate every person who is working on the team.
We have done this for many years. In fact, it has been a practice of mine ever since I started in business. See, I’ve always been a big believer in really appreciating the people you work with, because that kind of encouragement goes far. People will work harder for appreciation than they will for anything else – more than a big bonus, more than an important title. Appreciation is what waters the soul. Not only that, but it makes you feel better.
Just over a week ago we had our year-end celebration. We started at our house, and then we took everyone out to dinner at a nice restaurant in the city, and then to our favorite gelato place. I’m telling you, we PARTY! (Our mid-year celebration is a little different – we stay at our house and I usually cook for everyone. It’s a very laid back party, usually a pool party.)
We had about 45 people at our year-end celebration this year, including spouses. The party started at our house at about 2 pm on a Friday afternoon. In the beginning, we had some time to just mingle with each other in a totally different environment. It’s very casual, and it’s a great time to give hugs, ask about the family, catch up on life outside of work, things of that nature.
After about an hour of mingling, we went into the next phase of the celebration. Each of our managers had a list of who they’re responsible for and who they work with. With all 45 people crammed into our relatively small living room, the managers got up and spent some time highlighting every person on their team – the improvements they’ve made over the last 6 month period, what they appreciate about each person, what each person has brought to the table, how each person has stepped up in certain areas, and what is so unique about each individual.
This is great because Hans and I don’t get to work with all 45 of these people personally, because there are different people who work with different teams, but we get to hear all the awesome things that each person is doing.
It’s very heartfelt and beautiful to see the managers loving on their team, and seeing their teams love on the managers and appreciating each other in such a heartfelt, deeply thankful way.
Every single person in the company walks away feeling so special, so important, so valued, as well as challenged with "What do I want my manager to say about me in the next 6 months?" Or maybe they heard a different manager say something about someone else in another department and they’ll think, "I want to be spoken about in that way. What do I have to do to improve my game in order to be seen that way?"
One of the things I did this last time is I recognized the spouses (which, in our case all of the spouses are wives). I thanked them for sharing their husbands with us. I told them they are just as much a part of this team as their husbands are. What they do for their husbands in appreciating them, keeping the home, grooming the kids for success, believing in their husbands, makes them just as much a part of this great vision of changing people’s lives as their husbands are.
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I think it’s important if you have a company and the spouses are there, recognize those spouses for all they are doing, because they make it possible for their spouse to engage and work diligently and to bring their best game there. If they are fighting with their spouse and there is constant jealousy, judgment, or friction at home, you and I both know their conduct at work is not going to be as great, as creative, or as powerful. But because of their support, the spouse is free to be all they can be at work.
So I just felt it deep inside of my heart to really appreciate and encourage the wives who are supporting their husbands. I got very emotional during this, and so did they. Because the spouse often feels left out, insignificant, unimportant, devalued, useless, like they’re not contributing anything. Especially when their spouse is doing something so important, as each individual who works with DaniJohnson.com & Call to Freedom Int’l is.
Everything we do helps to change lives and communities and families and businesses. Everything we do helps to set people up for financial independence and helps them dream again and live a fulfilled life and get their spiritual life right and groom their children for greatness. Everything our staff does is so dynamically important – every piece of paper that’s touched, every program that’s put together, every computer glitch that’s fixed, every single thing somebody on our team does is so deeply important – and the spouses are equally important.
So I just wanted to pass this along to you, because this is something we have done for years and we know it has been beneficial, not only to our team, but to us as well. Hearing all the greatness inside of our team causes us to appreciate them all the more. It’s a moment to pause and say, "Wow, they really have come so far."
So before the year ends, take the time to do this. Gather your team – whether that team is your employees, your family, the peoplle you manage. And even if you work for a company who won’t do this, YOU can do this for your team as a manager.
You may say, "Dani, really? Take them to my favorite restaurant?" Modify it! Make it a potluck at your house. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Just find an opportunity to recognize the people you work with.
And moms – do this with your kids! Do it twice a year. You can even have a bonus system for the kids. Have a point of recognition for the improvements that have been made and how far they have come. It is really good for kids to see and experience this as well.
You still have time to do this before the year is over. Go for it! Find a way to make it happen!
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So here’s to a great end of the year for you and your family! Have an awesome time making this kind of gathering happen with you and the people you love & the people you work with every day! God bless, and I’ll talk to you soon!
In great faith,