The Triumphs and Challenges of Recognition and Awards

by Onyeka Nchege on October 21, 2014

Decision Choose Change or  Same Old StreetRecently, Apple stores across the world were flooded with patrons waiting to purchase the new iPhone6.  Many will agree that the introduction of the iPhone in 2007 raised the bar in the technology industry and ushered in a wave of innovation.  Apple has not only profited greatly for setting a new industry standard, it has also gained worldwide recognition as being a technological pioneer. 

As wonderful as recognition is, it can also be a challenge to some.  For example, though Apple has once again shattered records for the amount of iPhone 6 pre orders, there are still many who believe Apple hasn’t moved much past the bar they set seven years ago, because they continue to release the same phone with modest additions in each generation.  The amount of patrons who believe that Apple’s innovation has decreased over the years is translated by comparing Apple’s current market share with their competitor’s market share.  Those patrons have started purchasing phones and tablets from other companies who they feel are now raising the bar in the technology industry.  Hence, Apple should now be realizing that with recognition and awards also comes a new set of expectations.

In a more direct manner, we as individuals have opportunities to be recognized in our professional and personal lives often through awards.  Recognition and awards are excellent promotions of you and your capabilities.  They can help to elevate your career to the next platform, and they can allow for you and your talents to be exposed to a broader audience.  However, it must be understood that once you are a recipient of any recognition or awards, you have raised your own bar.  As an example, I recently championed a golf tournament to benefit a scholarship fund.  This year we had a good mixture of new participants and our faithful contributors.  Though everyone participated mainly for the benefit of the scholarship, there was still the motivation of receiving a trophy for placing in the top three.  There was also the motivation for prior trophy winners to beat their score from previous years and to once again go home with a trophy. 

The healthy competition you encounter while striving for recognition is a great motivator in assisting to raise your own bar.  Be mindful that once your bar has been raised and you have received your recognition, the expectations of you will be changed.  I can tell you from my own experience that it is a more rewarding road to travel having embraced this new set of expectations as opposed to seeing them as burdens.  The new set of expectations may increase your workload, apply unwanted pressure or force you to grow into new, initially uncomfortable, positions.  These are not burdens, these are new initiatives.

Your overall determination of success depends on how much you raise your bar.  Also, it is important to remember that though your performance has been beyond exceptional in the past; your past performance does not equal future growth.  Future growth is dependent on managing and meeting the new expectations of you.                                 

Take Action: Are you really growing yourself or repackaging the old to look new?  Understand the new expectations of you and innovate yourself to meet those expectations. 

Leadership on the Go…It’s O.N.


How Good is Good Enough

by Onyeka Nchege on October 7, 2014

Being the bestBy now, most people across the world know that Apple has recently released their latest phone, the iPhone 6. Like many technology enthusiast, I waited anxiously to see what the post Jobs era release would bring. Admittedly, over the past several years, I have not, as my children say, been on “Team iPhone” so I have been on the sidelines watching and speculating like most others.

As with every new generation of the iPhone, a new iOS (operating system for the iPhone) was also released. And just as the iPhone 6 Plus is the biggest phone that Apple has released to date, iOS 8 is the biggest mobile operating system Apple has also ever released to date. Few know that iOS 8 was released with close to a thousand features and fixes. Yet, many know that there have been two subsequent releases to patch some issues found in the original iOS 8 release. When comparing the actual number of fixes in the two subsequent releases to the amount of features and fixes that were in the original iOS 8 release, Apple still released a product that had a quality rating of about 99%. With such a high quality rating, why have there been so many mixed reviews about iOS 8? Wasn’t iOS 8 good enough?

Unlike most products that are developed and delivered, software and technology platforms are held to a high standard that is constantly escalating. The concept of good enough does not simply mean delivering the minimum functionality that has been requested. Good enough means delivering on the expectations of your customers. One thing that I have come to realize is that expectations rank much higher than requests. If all you do is pay attention to the requests and ignore the expectations, you will most assuredly miss the mark of success.

A major gripe that caused Apple to release one of the follow ups to iOS 8 is that users were unable to use their Bluetooth devices. For those customers who don’t use, or even own, a Bluetooth device, this issue was not known at all. However, to those who use Bluetooth devices as their primary communication tool when using their iPhone, this issue was a major defect in iOS 8, which prompted Apple to address it immediately. Delivering on the varying expectations of your customers is an incredible challenge to manage, but it is a necessity that must always be addressed.

So what’s the measurement of good enough when there are varying customer expectations? Unfortunately, there is no true way to measure when the bar of good enough has been reached. Yet, there is a method to ensuring you are on the path of good enough and possibly beyond it; strive for GOLD.

    • Go to your customers and ask for candid feedback
    • Offer insight to manage their expectations
    • Listen carefully to what your customers are asking for
    • Deliver what your customers have asked for

Take Action: Decide today to be good enough and strive for GOLD

Leadership on the Go…It’s O.N.

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