By Mike Cavender, RTDNA Executive Director
Note: The following is a reprise of a column I wrote as RTDNA Chairman in 1996. Each year, we receive requests to repeat it because the sentiments are as valid today as they were seventeen years ago:
December is certainly one of the busiest months of the year—and no wonder! Rushing around for the holidays, dealing with staff shortages because of all those vacations, analyzing the November book (and planning for the next one) as well as a flurry of budget preps and year-end paperwork all make for a month in which we need more than 31 days.
But as 2013 winds down and we inch ever closer to the New Year, I suggest we all take a deep breath and pause for a moment to think about a little gift-giving. Not for our family at home, but for our family at work. And these are gifts that can last all year long.
There’s the gift of motivation. Consider new and different ways to reward someone’s outstanding performance. Even a few well-chosen words spoken in the newsroom after a job well done can go a long way toward encouraging people to try even harder tomorrow.
Then there’s the gift of learning. If you don’t already, set an example for your managers and staff by providing ongoing feedback to those whose work often goes unnoticed. Sit down with the writers, the editors, the associate producers and others like them to help them really understand how they’re doing and how they can improve. Everybody’s a winner in that process.
Finally, there’s the gift of tolerance. When it’s all breaking loose around you and the competitive pressures are at their peak, ask yourself if you’re being fair in dealing with those from whom you demand so much. Don’t compromise your expectations, but don’t draw blood, either. Remember, the best ground is usually the middle ground.
If you give these gifts, they’re guaranteed to fit. And nobody’s going to take them back!
All of us at RTDNA wish you the happiest of holiday seasons and a great new year!
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