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Solution Saturday: Feeling Unrecognized

This note arrived this morning.

“I have achieved a lot over the years. Why hasn’t anyone recognized me?”

Lack of recognition and appreciation runs rampant in many organizations. The only time you’re noticed is when you fall short. 

Leaders are criticized when things go wrong and forgotten when they go right.

You spend hours preparing for a tough conversation that goes well. Who knows? Team interactions are smooth and productive. Successful teamwork is no accident.

The better a leader performs the less essential it seems they are.


The desire to feel appreciated and respected is normal. When you serve those who are able to show recognition, it’s healthy for them to extend it.


The better you do, the less you’re appreciated and the more you’re expected to do next time.

I work with a team of unappreciated people. When things go right, they’re invisible. When things go wrong, they’re responsible.

Others don’t know:

  1. How much you care.
  2. How hard you work.
  3. How preparation and expertise make things run smoothly.

5 ways to gain recognition:

  1. Serve for the joy of serving. Don’t worry about recognition.
  2. Meet a pressing need. Day-to-day work is often unrecognized.
  3. Serve in ways that matter to others. Recognition is an expression of someone else’s values.
  4. Enjoy recognition. Don’t demand it. Demanding recognition is a sure way to lose it.
  5. Extend respect and give recognition to others.

3 ways to receive recognition:

  1. Tell people how it feels when they show you respect. If it feels good, say it. Don’t say, “No big deal,” if it feels like a big deal.
  2. Show gratitude to others when you’re recognized. Great leaders say, “I work with great people,” when they’re recognized.
  3. Don’t talk about all the work you did. Just be thankful.

What might leaders do when they feel under-appreciated?

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