Because we all want to matter…

Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, once said “Everyone has an invisible sign hanging from their neck saying, ‘Make me feel important.’ Never forget this message working with people.”

Isn’t this what we all want? Beyond a paycheque and benefits and awards, we want people to value us, appreciate what we do and recognize that we matter.

Whether you’re a leader or a co-worker, this is the most important thing you can do to build solid relationships filled with trust and mutual support.

Carli Lloyd, captain of the United States soccer team in the World Cup finals knew this when she took off her captain’s armband and put it on Abby Wambach. Wambach was playing in what will probably be her last World Cup game. Of the gesture, Carli said Abby deserved to wear it and she wanted her to know how proud she was of her and that she was thankful to have her as a friend.

The great thing about showing other people how they matter is they then want to pass the good feelings onto someone else.

And what did Abby do with that armband? She insisted Christie Rampone – the only player on the team from the 1999 championship team and most likely playing her last World Cup game as well – wear it for the trophy presentation.

Abby summed it up when she said, “I think it’s pretty symbolic that a team that was able to win the world championship wants to pass off the attention from one person to another. Carli hands it to me, I had it to Christie. That is what it takes to win a world championship.”

And that is what it takes to build a great work team and company – making sure everyone knows how important they are to others.