The Template

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Why Every Leader Should be a Name-Dropper

What do employees crave from their boss more than anything?

Recognition for a job well done.

That’s why, in email and in-person situations, leaders should “name-drop” employees who have performed at a high level or made strides on a given project/challenge.

The move simultaneously improves your standing as a leader and engenders respect from co-workers and colleagues.

Here’s an example for an email situation.

Your finished a big presentation to a potential new client. You, the president, brought along two other team members for the pitch and you want to update the entire team (15 people) on how it went.

The forgettable approach to thanking the two team members would be:

And great work by our team on the Acme presentation. I think we really impressed the Acme folks in the room.

What an opportunity wasted to publicly thank team members in front of the rest of the company. By writing “our team,” it minimizes the role the two people played.

The “name-drop” line could look something like:

And great work by our Ashley and Don on the Acme presentation. I think you both really impressed the Acme folks in the room especially with our PowerPoint — it looked so sharp.

Now, Ashley and Don feel valued and receive their due recognition. The leader name-drops both of them in a way that’s genuine and sincere. Leadership FTW.

What about an in-person conversation? The strategy works the same way, but it takes even greater awareness of the moment. We can take our time to craft an email and name-drop effectively.

Perhaps, at the next all-hands company meeting, you discuss current and future projects. Rather than again gloss over the team member who went with you to the Acme presentation with something like:

Thanks to the team members who came with me on the Acme pitch

You remember to “name-drop” and give the two staff members their moment in the sun:

And I want to make a special note to thank Ashley and Don on the Acme presentation. I think you both really impressed the Acme folks in the room especially with our PowerPoint — it looked so sharp.

Ashley and Don win the “gold star” for the day and feel like their work is appreciated.

All from a simple name-drop. What could be easier?

Photo: Oregon DOT

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