As I sit here watching my dog play with a $2 stuffed pig a friend bought for him almost two years ago, I realize that so often we spend money on things we think are important (like all the other stuffed animals we have bought him to try to replace the pig when it got torn) or as a reward or present (for a birthday or holiday). In reality, the best $2 expenditure was one no one really saw coming and time spent washing it or sewing tears are much better than buying something new. No matter what new toy he gets, when it comes time to go to bed, all he wants is the pig. When I wash it, he sits in front of the washing machine until it is done. As leaders, how often do we try to give people something (like a new title, new project, or new incentive) that means absolutely nothing to them? It is important to really get to know the people you are working with, find out what is important to them, and learn to adjust when, at some point, you realize, all they really want, is the equivalent of my dog's $2 pig.
Have a good week!