A Daily Dispatch from the Front Lines of Leadership.


Finding Reasons to Celebrate

Celebration offers a sense of accomplishment and pride for the milestone achieved. It reminds team members about what is important and what needs to be repeated. Most of all, celebration tells people they are worthy of even greater success. The praise underscores the choices they have made.

Unfortunately, many leaders believe that celebrating anything less than the spectacular results at the conclusion of an important initiative is akin to declaring victory before victory is attained. Sadly, they have convinced themselves that celebrating any short-term milestones will encourage team members to take their feet off the gas pedal and coast into a lazy finish. They would be wrong.

When done in proportion to the size and importance of the milestone, celebrations motivate others to push forward and work even harder to achieve the next step toward the ultimate success. Without celebrating the short-term wins, maintaining the drive and energy to march forward can seem like drudgery. Celebration puts a bounce in the step of progress. Good leaders don’t fear celebration, they look for it.

The best leaders not only celebrate short-term milestones, they look for, and find, reasons to celebrate people, events, and milestones. They know the energizing effect that celebration has on people. Instead of waiting to celebrate, they celebrate frequently and invent celebrations that match the importance of the milestone.

Coffee and donuts in the morning. A fight song composed and sung by the leadership team. A celebratory illustration unveiled at the staff meeting. A celebrity athlete who addresses and motivates the group. The rest of the day to focus on family. Travel upgrades to the next team off-site. The list of celebratory rewards is limited only by a leader’s creativity.

Exceptional leaders share this important insight: The more a team celebrates, the more they create things worth celebrating in the future. Leaders don’t wait for reasons to celebrate. They find them.

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