Today I was closing a loop on a marketing project when I did something gratuitous: I stopped, paused, and tipped my hat to a fellow creator.
The marketer I had been working with is an employee of another company in my industry. I happened to see some of his work on his company’s social media feed, and I was really impressed by the professionalism, curation, and creativity of the content. I shared my admiration in a quick email.
It took me only a few seconds to congratulate him on his work and skill. I don’t know how much it really meant to him. But I can tell you that (for me, at least) it’s one of the most gratifying things to get acknowledgement from a fellow creator you respect.
Expressing admiration was completely unnecessary for getting the job done. I could have thanked him for his collaboration and moved on. But the fact that this kind of praise is unnecessary and gratuitous is what makes it so valuable.
A boss has to give feedback (it’s good management). Employees have to (or feel like they have to) praise their bosses. Customers will always have demands. But peers – fellow creators – they can give the respect and appreciation that comes from first-hand knowledge of a craft.
For a peer to recognize the quality of your work is (for many of us) better than cash. That means it’s pretty easy to make the day of a creative person. Just stop in the middle of a job and salute what they’re doing.