Monday, February 2, 2009


Watching Barack Obama’s inauguration was quite something. We had our tech guys set up live internet feeds and TVs in our different facilities so that employees could watch this historic event. I watched President Obama’s speech in one of our cafeterias with about fifty colleagues. It was a very moving and historic event.

At the time, as I listened to the new CEO’s Inaugural speech, I was a bit disappointed… it was good, but it wasn’t GREAT.

This weekend, I took the time to read the speech and I changed my mind… it was GREAT! Perfect in tone and content for our times.

Read some of President Obama’s words…

~ On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

~ Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

~ What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility – a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.

It also made me realize that President Obama is not only the Chief Executive Officer he is also the Chief Emotional Officer and Chief Engagement Officer. I believe the President has read and sensed the mood of America. He is engaging all Americans with his call to action. His words, speak for themselves…

~ This is the price and the promise of citizenship.
So how does this apply to those in the recognition profession? I have often said that employee engagement is impossible without “employer engagement.” Part of employer engagement is understanding what employees are feeling and reaching out to them with words and actions that lead all to a better place.

And while it’s great to have a CEO who gets it… managers can do this too! Anyone in a leadership position needs to understand their employees’ emotions and engage them.

So here’s to the concept of CE³O… it’s just as essential to a modern corporation as H2O is to humankind!