As CEO, acknowledging individuals and teams for work well done, attitude, and a willingness to pitch in when the unfairness of a situation strikes can increase the speed and accuracy of work and business interactions. Being grounded in honesty, it has an added bonus of creating an atmosphere where people can risk being spontaneous and open. This is especially important when discussing difficult matters, not just the “high five” accomplishments. In contrast, lack of acknowledgement leaves people wondering where they stand causing a waste of energy and the destabilization of the relationship.

Acknowledgement shows others they are worth the time and effort it takes to think about them. It has proved invaluable when having to evaluate team members, stakeholders, or vendors whose performance has not been up to par…well at least the ones who value the relationship. It keeps the focus on behaviors important for successful continuation of ongoing work.

Providing acknowledgement says, “Working interdependently with you is important to me.” That open recognition goes a long way towards potentially deepening the relationship by the development of trust, which in turn can increase commitment. Loyalty is promoted.

For those who don’t care about the relationship the effort spent acknowledging them still has a benefit by bringing into clear focus the need to modify or end the relationship.

Nuances and Weak Signals

Acknowledgement promotes the sharing of nuances, important when building success. It is like an added bonus. Let me explain. Nuance is about the little things; the little things that can make all the difference in the world. In complex situations nuances go by another name: weak signals.

Successful weak signal analysis (WSA) is one of the holy grails associated with complex projects. WSA is essential on any complex project since it helps determine as early as possible signs of pending success or failure. This information helps you change the approach in order to enhance success and dampen failure and do it in a cost effective way.


The loyalty and trust promoted by acknowledgement encourages others to be mutually supportive, increasing the quality and throughput of work. The odds of success go up accordingly.

To make it a little more personal, think of the trusted store clerk with whom you’ve built a relationship. How do you feel when they steer you in the right direction regarding a product with which you have little familiarity but need to work correctly right out of the box? What is that person worth to you? Also, doesn’t it just feel good to have that trusting relationship?

I’d like to put a challenge out to you, the CEO. How much time are you willing to spend acknowledging others? Who would you pick? Take action. Notice results. See if you don’t feel better along with smoothing the way for others upon whom you depend.