As a prize for winning a golf tournament, a local teen received a Wheaties box with his picture on the front. “Back in the day”, having your picture on that box of cereal was just about the ultimate recognition in sports. It was reserved for Olympians, MVPs and All-Stars. It meant something.

But that was in an era before everyone had computers with desktop publishing software. It was time-consuming and expensive to do a mock-up so it was even hard to imagine what your image would look like under the famous Wheaties logo. Today amateurs can put their picture on cereal boxes, magazine covers and movie posters with a green screen or a click of a few computer keys. It takes something away from the specialness of it all.

Take a look at your recognition programs. Are you still offering something that had great meaning at one point but has lost its luster now? Does your demographic truly value the prize that you are providing? It might be time to think outside the box for your rewards.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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