by Lynette Silva
If Traci Pesch can blog about her beloved Cleveland Cavaliers, then I can about my own Boston Bruins. I moved to Boston more than 20 years ago from West Texas. Needless to say, ice hockey wasn’t a sport we followed where I grew up. But from my first hockey season at Boston University, I was hooked. It’s just such a fast-paced, exciting game, it’s impossible to not get a rush just watching it.
And then there’re moments that bring you to tears. In this case, happy tears. Did you see the sweet story of Liam Fitzgerald last week? I can’t set it up any better NBC Sports did, so I’ll rely on their words:
“Liam Fitzgerald is an eight-year-old who has Down syndrome and was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at four. He battled with cancer for three and a half years and has beaten it. He’s also a big Adam McQuaid fan, to the point where Liam dressed up as him for Halloween in 2013. When McQuaid learned of him, the Bruins defenseman arranged for him and his family to be guests at a game in February. He was invited back on Tuesday and this was the result:” (Email subscribers, click through for the video.)
This video has been the talk of the office for days. A colleague of mine, Eric Bauer, had this to say about it:
“It’s great Liam is such a fan of McQuaid. McQuaid’s no superstar, but no slouch either. He’s one of the most unsung heroes of the Bruins over the last few years. Every night, he quietly gets his job done, and his presence on the ice is definitely felt. Although on Tuesday night, McQuaid was superman to Liam (and all the Bruins who fist-pumped Liam as they returned to the locker room).”
So what’s the lesson I draw from all of this? Your superstar employees tend to get the most attention and adulation, but it’s often those in the “mighty middle” that make it possible for those stars to shine. As Eric pointed out, McQuaid is not a superstar, but Patrice Bergeron wouldn’t be the superstar he is without McQuaid “making his presence on the ice felt and getting the job done.”
But Liam noticed. Liam picked the hero that most matched himself – the person who quietly gets the job done and makes those around him happier along the way. And that’s often true in the workplace, too. It’s peers and colleagues who often notice the value of the “Steady Eddies.” That’s why peer recognition is a critical component of a social employee recognition approach. Empower everyone to praise and appreciate your hidden heroes.
Who are your people that “get the job done” but perhaps don’t get the praise your stars often do?