In business, you have to take a deep breath and leap.

Dr. Bob

I’ve never really understood the grip that academia has on some people. I’d much prefer to be out in the world doing business, then sitting in a campus classroom, lecturing about business. Why is it so attractive to choose a title like ‘professor’ when you could carry a title of CEO?

The only answer I’ve been able to surmise that satisfies this question is that some are just made for academia while others are made for real-world business. It is not necessarily a good answer, but it is the best answer I can provide.

I know I was made for real-world business. It is not often that I credit my success to some academic study done on some ambiguous college campus somewhere in the world. But that all changed, when my marketing department challenged me to recognize our employees, just as our customers recognize theirs.

Dr. Bob introduced the power of a recognition program

I allowed Dr. Bob to enter my world.

Dr. Bob Nelson is the man who established the very first tested-data producing measure on how employee recognition affects the bottom-line in a business and corresponding company culture. This academic-guru turned author-speaker put numbers to the warm-fuzzy stuff. Additionally, he outlined best practices for recognizing employees in a way that was repeatable for a small business like mine.

With a deep breath and a leap of faith, we used his expertise as a platform upon which we built a recognition program that could work for us. Our goal was to make “The WOW Effect”TM come alive for our employees.

Our recognition program has been wildly successful and, today is the defining current in our company. But this was not the case in the early years. In fact, the word success was not even on the horizon for quite some time.

Keep reading to find out how I started this wildly successful recognition program on a shoe-string budget for a bunch of skeptical employees lacking an ounce of gratitude.

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