A Green Thumb or a Lawnmower?

Which one are you? Which word best describes your company?

 You have the power to choose.

iStock_000016910506_ExtraSmallListening intently to a senior leader’s recent words while presenting a company’s standard recognition presentation for a significant corporate milestone celebration, the words of “Congratulations on your many years of service! You can now pick out your lawnmower from the gift catalogue” were spoken.

In this moment of honor and praise, the “lawnmower” comment “clipped and cut” the celebration and the honored celebrant. Is that all there is? A lawnmower for many years of service and dedication? 

While certainly not intended, these simple words immediately diminished the hard work, planning and coordination of the corporate recognition and rewards team, in addition to, dampening the spirit of this special occasion. In every presentation – and in all interactions with others – are we encouraging and supportive <providing a green light of praise or a “thumbs up” for positive growth> or are we unaware and thoughtless with our words <clipping conversations unnecessarily, cutting recognition presentations due to time, mowing down the competition to get ahead, etc.?>

iStock_000004633733_ExtraSmallWords and actions are powerful, and while often unintended to be harmful and hurtful, in our world of social media and immediate access, thoughtless words can sting, hurt and can cause significant damage as seen with the recent Abercrombie & Fitch controversy. 

Creating positive corporate cultures and establishing robust, human capital investments that are innovative, visionary and purposeful are essential to competing in today’s global economy and attracting talent. Creating and designing sustainable recognition + rewards programs are one component, complimented by core values, leadership alignment and a strong, inspirational culture.

Experts, practitioners and companies that value this work, and who desire to make an impact and difference in this arena, are leading the charge as noted by John G. Blumberg, Dina Dwyer-Owens and The Huestudio + Company, LLC.


John G. Blumberg, a Preferred Partner of The Huestudio + Company, LLC, has authored Good to the CoreBuilding Value with Values. This is a “must read” for anyone who desires to examine their values, both personally, professionally and organizationally. John’s message is powerful and inspires many corporations, organizations and groups to examine their current structures and create values-based actions, initiatives and programs. Currently working on his latest book, we will proudly feature the release, once completed.  

Dina Dwyer-Owens, Chairwoman & CEO of The Dwyer Group® recently went “undercover” in her company as “Faith Brown” on the hit CBS show, Undercover Boss. This was an amazing episode of faith, belief, trust and paying it forward.

iStock_000003305170_ExtraSmallSimilar to other well run and professionally executed companies, The Dwyer Group® has an official mission statement and vision, but also crafted a Code of Values that each co-worker is urged to know and follow by heart and with heart. Powerful, at best! In fact, any meeting of three or more employees of The Dwyer Group® begins with reciting the Code of Values. All fifteen values are impressive and add to creating a robust and solid corporate culture.  

Dina is continuing to inspire with a special “Reveal Your Undercover Role Model” sweepstakes. Check it out for a chance at $3000 and watch a special episode called “Undercover Boss: Epic Bosses” tomorrow, May 17 at 8/7c for the season finale. We salute Dina as a true “Green Thumb” role model for cultivating a corporate culture of authentic praise, care and recognition.  

Rife_Tree“Culture sustains employee enthusiasm” as noted in the recent Kissmetrics.com blog post of “The 4 Elements That Make Great Company Culture”. 

The Huestudio + Company, LLC values positive working environments and regularly consults with corporations and companies that desire to create a positive corporate culture. We recently created our Random Acts of Color initiative to encourage others to make their communities, corporations, cities and our world more colorful. Soon-to-launch colorful products in our online store will proudly support select not-for-profit organizations that make a difference.

To celebrate your “green thumb”, we encourage you to plant a colorful garden, volunteer, celebrate diversity, paint a school and share your Random Acts of Color actions by posting to our Facebook page, Twitter or uploading a video to YouTube with The Huestudio + Company | Random Acts of Color as the tag.   


Random Acts of Color also complements our unique and innovative Palettes of Recognition™ corporate recognition + rewards training experience. This creative program can be tailored and customized to align to any corporate mission, vision and core values. For more information on this transformational training experience, contact info@thehuestudio.com or call 888.399.9550  

So, today, which one are you – or – who do you desire to be? A green thumb or a lawnmower? 

You have the power to choose.

“Hold your head up. Take an unplanned road trip. Be thankful. Try everything once. Color outside the lines. Fall in love. Embrace change. Trust in yourself. Do what you love. Dance when everyone is looking. Eat dessert first. Be nice to everyone. Engage in Random Acts of Colors. Send thank you cards. Be the change you wish to see in the world. Play in the rain. Break the rules once in while. Practice random acts of kindness. Forgive even when its hard. Make time for family. Don’t count the minutes count the laughs. Live life!”

Photography Credits:  Man mowing lawn | © iStockphoto.com/Pgiam; Tree in palm of hand | © iStockphoto.com/panorios; Good to the Core book cover | © Keynote Concepts, Inc.; Golden egg | © iStockphoto.com/sylvios; Exotic Mexican Tree © rifeponcephotography.com; Random Acts of Color © The Huestudio + Company, LLC.

Amazing at ABC!

Yesterday, five months after a bone-marrow transplant to treat a rare blood disorder, and dressed exquisitely in an aqua dress, the lovely Robin Roberts resumed her anchor duties as co-anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America. Clearly her peers and top leadership at ABC were genuinely thrilled to have her back with news division President Ben Sherwood stating, “a day that we all rejoice!” 

GMAABC continues to flourish. Good Morning America frequently attracts new viewers and is gaining momentum in the daily contest for morning television dominance. With the abrupt and poorly handled departure of NBC’s beloved Today Show anchor Ann Curry, many longtime NBC viewers have now switched loyalties and defected to ABC and Good Morning America. Rating wars are at an all-time high and viewers are noticing the purposeful – and authentic – care, concern and respect in how best to treat people well, even within a national news division work environment. Ms. Roberts has captivated us with her honesty, pain, struggles and perseverance, but her colleagues, peers and network bosses have connected and genuinely banded together to demonstrate their support – and unwavering love – for the effervescent Roberts. All have proudly worn the multi-colored prayer bracelet with the words of “light, love, power, presence” for the past five months, in solidarity.  

The power of praise and presence of authentic recognition can also have a physiological impact on performance, as noted by Josh Bersin, a contributor to Forbes. He asserts that “recent research shows that people who work under the influence of Oxytocin perform better and are more trustworthy. Our bodies create and generate Oxytocin when we feel appreciated, valued, loved, respected and recognized. Simply by shaking someone’s hand creates this hormone.” With the care and concern demonstrated and given freely throughout these past five months to Ms. Roberts, we are visibly viewing the positive benefits of Oxytocin at work and the overwhelming awareness to balance physiological and physical needs, among others.

According to the Huffington Post, during yesterday’s live telecast at Good Morning America, ABC boss Anne Sweeney, news division President Ben Sherwood and Katie Couric all stood in the wings watching proudly. When Ms. Roberts thanked her nurses on the air, all of the show producers in the control room – an entire floor away – stood and applauded. Mr. Sherwood then delivered a champagne toast on the set after the show went off the air. Amazing!    

Mr. Bersin ascertains that “when your company embraces a modern recognition program and people start thanking each other, trust and engagement go up – improving employee morale, quality, and customer service.” The art of recognizing and appreciating one another is everyone’s responsibility and this should take place throughout one’s entire organization, but according to Mr. Bersin, and we at The Huestudio + Company, LLC completely agree, that “top-down recognition is not what makes companies thrive today – it’s recognition by your peers, the people you work with every day.” Read more about Josh Bersin, including the top five best recognition practices Forbes discovered.

In an interesting twist, though believed to be genuinely sincere, NBC and The Today Show sent a gift basket that Good Morning America displayed in its studio. NBC also gave Ms. Roberts an on-air welcome, along with many other athletes and celebrities, most notably the President and the First Lady. Amazing! And…Ms. Roberts deserved it all!

Amazing Things, by the wonderfully talented Megan McDonough, inspires us here at The Huestudio + Company, LLC everyday to demonstrate good leadership and role model best practices in recognition and appreciation. It also affirms that we are “on the right track.”

Yesterday was Amazing at ABC! The top brass at ABC demonstrated exceptional leadership in recognition, which equates to smart business.

Listen to and buy Megon’s wonderful song – and when you see someone doing the right thing – take a moment – and thank them openly. We are confident that your own personal show producers and legions of fans will also stand and applaud your efforts. 


Amazing Things by Megon McDonough

You will do Amazing Things
With the choice each new day brings
And with every breath you take
Bless the progress that you make
The reason you live, is found in every gift you give
Love your life – love your dreams
You will do Amazing Things 

Amazing…Amazing you will do Amazing Things
Amazing…Amazing you will do Amazing Things 

Oh the places you will go
And the people you will know
Don’t worry when or where or how
You don’t have to know right now
You’re on the right track
No need to look ahead or back
Just enjoy what this day brings
You will do Amazing Things

Amazing…Amazing you will do Amazing Things
Amazing…Amazing you will do Amazing Things

You don’t have to work it out
Just stay in the here and now
Let your mind rest for a little while
Sometimes deepest answers comes
When you’re out there having fun
…So close your eyes and take a breath and smile

 Amazing…Amazing you will do Amazing Things 
Amazing…Amazing you will do Amazing Things


Music and lyrics by Megon McDonough and Jana Stanfield

c. 2004 | Eagle Woman Music ASCAP – Jana Stan Tunes ASCAP 

Tweeting for Kindness

“What every genuine philosopher (every genuine man, in fact) craves most is praise, although the philosophers general call it recognition!”

– William James

kind echos photoRecognition of others, using kind and thoughtful words, does make a difference. The veteran NBC reporter Kevin Tibbles, a friend on Facebook, recently shared a story spotlighting Jeremiah Anthony, a 17-year old junior at Iowa City West High School in Iowa City, IA, who uses social media to tweet daily compliments.

Jeremiah’s singular actions, and the power of a few nice words, has resulted in overwhelmingly positive responses and changes with his peers and school.  Tweeting under the name of @westhighbros, Jeremiah and his friends are defeating bullying and negativity with small, kind, positive and uplifting messages, such as “You make everyone happy with your quirkiness”.  Selecting people at random, including sharing compliments with teachers, has proven that one good word at a time, has amazing impact and generates extraordinary results.

Social media has taken on a new, fresh and immediate approach to appreciating and valuing others.  We have all witnessed the negative stories in our newspapers, evening newscasts and on the radio, however, one person – or television news personality – can change the direction and scope of just about anything, just as Jeremiah has done.  In your life, whether personal or professional, how are you utilizing social media to bring kindness, joy and inspiration to others?

Within our work as Certified Recognition Professionals, we are acutely aware of the power of praise, acknowledgement, appreciation and recognition.  We work with leaders, corporations and organizations that desire to invest in their people while creating outstanding work environments.  Over the years, we have designed and created strategic corporate recognition systems that focus on day-to-day, informal and formal ways of appreciating and valuing others, while being respectful of and contributing to a corporation’s bottom line.

kind words photo

Genuine, simple and sincere “Random Acts of Kindness” cost little, but thought, time and caring.  Our friend Ann Curry continues to tweet and re-tweet using #26Acts, which she initiated after the horrors of Sandy Hook.  Begin today and follow us @TheHuestudioCo or @HuesRandomActs.  Join our group on Facebook, 26 Kind Acts | Every Month | Day 26.  This is a way of continuing random acts, every month, on the 26th day.  We’ve started and invite you to join us!

Today, we recognize, honor and salute Ann Curry, Jeremiah Anthony and Kevin Tibbles for their exemplary work in kindness, appreciation and recognition.  All do great things in our world, including tweeting about it and reporting on it, for others to be informed, delighted and inspired by.

We too, love Kevin’s blue tie!


The Hand That Reaches Out

As Thanksgiving Day approaches, we are delighted to share this special story of lending a hand to others.  Enjoy, with our compliments and many blessings!

The Hand

Thanksgiving Day was near. The first grade teacher gave her class a fun assignment — to draw a picture of something for which they were thankful.

Most of the class might be considered economically disadvantaged, but still many would celebrate the holiday with turkey and other traditional goodies of the season. These, the teacher thought, would be the subjects of most of her student’s art. And they were.

But Douglas made a different kind of picture. Douglas was a different kind of boy. He was the teacher’s true child of misery, frail and unhappy. As other children played at recess, Douglas was likely to stand close by her side. One could only guess at the pain Douglas felt behind those sad eyes.

Yes, his picture was different. When asked to draw a picture of something for which he was thankful, he drew a hand. Nothing else. Just an empty hand.

His abstract image captured the imagination of his peers. Whose hand could it be? One child guessed it was the hand of a farmer, because farmers raise turkeys. Another suggested a police officer, because the police protect and care for people. Still others guessed it was the hand of God, for God feeds us. And so the discussion went — until the teacher almost forgot the young artist himself.

When the children had gone on to other assignments, she paused at Douglas’ desk, bent down, and asked him whose hand it was. The little boy looked away and murmured, “It’s yours, teacher.”

She recalled the times she had taken his hand and walked with him here or there, as she had the other students. How often had she said, “Take my hand, Douglas, we’ll go outside.” Or, “Let me show you how to hold your pencil.” Or, “Let’s do this together.” Douglas was most thankful for his teacher’s hand.

Brushing aside a tear, she went on with her work.

The story speaks of more than thankfulness. It says something about teachers teaching and parents parenting and friends showing friendship, and how much it means to the Douglases of the world. They might not always say thanks. But they’ll remember the hand that reaches out.

© 2004 Steve Goodier