Leadership Hack: KUDOS that ROCK in 5 Steps

By Blog, Leadership

Most leaders spend an hour telling someone how much they messed up and only a minute telling them that they did great job . Or they try to slide by with a pat on the back and say something really weak like:

“Good job Leslie”

“Great job Bob”

“That was impressive”

Non-specific one-liner feedback is a great way to say:

“Somebody somewhere said that you did something good. I wasn’t listening, really didn’t care, and won’t remember when you review comes up. But, I feel like I have to say something to save face. So… there you go.”

Wow! What a jerk move.

Uh huh… it’s that bad. Fortunately you can fix it in five steps with my KUDOS that ROCK Leadership Hack.

Step One: Check out their ACTIONS

There are two ways to look at this.

The first is for someone to whom you made a suggested correction. Count the list of the actions that they took towards the correction.

On the other hand, if your team member just came up with some amazing stuff out of the blue that turned into green, then count the specific actions of note.

Whatever your count is, assign the value to your Actions Variable (AV).

Step Two: What kind of RECOGNITION

Assign a Recognition Variable (RV) of 3-5 to the overall Achievement.

  • GOOD = 3: Their achievement is worthy of one-to-one recognition
  • GREAT = 4: Their achievement is worth the company knowing about
  • OVER THE TOP = 5: Their achievement added/saved money on the bottom line, improved efficiency, increased quality, or just made life easier. The world must know. Maybe we should throw a parade.

Step Three: How much Recognition

To get your Rate of Commendatory Kudos (ROCK) all you have to do is multiply your AV to your RV or:


For example: Natalie had given Andy an AV of 5 and RV of 4 meaning that she had a ROCK of 20.


Using your RV, AV, and ROCK variables the following prescription will tell you exactly how to give KUDOS that ROCK every single time.

RV = 3 (GOOD)

  • Have a one-on-one conversation with your team member for at least <ROCK> minutes. Make sure that you detail <AV> actions that they took bring the achievement to life.

RV = 4 (GREAT)

  • Complete RV Good
  • Tell at least <ROCK> people (including their boss and your boss) about what they did that was amazing.


  • Complete RV Great
  • Do a write up in your newsletter about this person.
  • Give them <ROCK> hours of leave
    Give/suggest a $<ROCK x100> bonus
    Spend $<ROCK x10> on lunch with them.

Step Five: REPEAT!

Do this over and over again for each employee that achieved something. Once is never enough. Keep up the good work and get great results.


That’s it! You should not only be able to give KUDOS that ROCK to your team; you can give out KUDOS in a way that matters most.


Let’s cut to the chase. Dawnna is a breakthrough business author and rockstar keynote speaker. She works with organizations that want to harness the power of people in business. If you’d like her to deliver content like what’s in this article or you just want to see her do thisthen give her a shout.