Meet with Randy!

Today's Challenge: Celebration

This is the next installment in the series in which I answer a question from a leader somewhere in the world. Today’s topic is not universal – by that I mean, some leaders I know don’t have an issue with this at all. However, many leaders, including myself, do struggle with celebrating the team’s accomplishments.

Before we jump in, I want to offer a defense for all of us who struggle with this issue. I don’t want to believe it’s because we’re no fun. I’d rather say…

  • We’re busy
  • We’re focused
  • We’re cost-conscious
  • We’ve understaffed
  • (Add you own reasons here ____________________)

Even with all this justification, I’ve come to believe the truth on this issue is…
If we don’t, from time to time, stop and celebrate with our team, we’ll miss a huge opportunity.
Here are a few reasons we need to devote time and energy to appropriate celebrations with our team.
Celebration builds community. For me, this reason alone is sufficient to carve out time for celebration. As you may know, I believe community is the turbo-charger for team performance. Community is about knowing, serving, loving, mourning AND celebrating together. Community improves team performance.
Celebration communicates appreciation. People, not machines, do most of the work we lead. Human beings love being appreciated. A thank you goes a long way. A celebration can serve as the opportunity to say “Thanks!”
Celebration recognizes desired behaviors and outcomes. What you celebrate matters. People are always looking to their leaders for clues regarding what we value. What we choose to celebrate communicates volumes to our teams. I believe it was Socrates who said, “What is celebrated in a land is cultivated there.”
Celebration provides a break in the grind. Work is never-ending. There is always another project and another deadline. Celebration can create a brief break that can have disproportionate restorative power.
So how do you make celebration the rule not the exception for your team?
Enlist help. The leader doesn’t have to plan and organize the celebration; you and I just have to be sure it happens. There are probably men and women on your team who are naturally gifted at celebration. Ask them for help.
Make the recognition appropriate for the accomplishment. If you finish a PowerPoint presentation, don’t send everyone on a cruise – you’ll not only confuse your people, you’ll go broke. Recently, we gave flowers to some women who reached a major goal in their plan and celebrated with them by serving the entire team designer cupcakes.
Don’t consider any major project finished until you’ve celebrated. I’m fortunate to have worked with several leaders on my team who are good at this. The last step in their project plans is always celebration.
Make it a strategic priority. If you and your team struggle with this, you always will until you invest time thinking about it, talking about it, and planning it. If you decide the discipline of celebration will make your team stronger – make it happen.
What can you and your team celebrate in the next 30 days?[GLS_Shield]
 

Leave a comment



David Sparks

7 years ago

I think people are afraid of communicating the wrong thing when it comes to a celebration. They don’t want people to stay stagnant, or think they’ve arrived.
Reflecting on what we can celebrate in the next 30 days – thanks for the challenge!

Doug Smith

7 years ago

I really enjoyed this post. Although I love to celebrate, too often I find myself accomplishing something and instead of actually taking the time to celebrate it, I immediately move onto the next big thing. I really liked when you said, ” Don’t consider any major project finished until you’ve celebrated.” That is excellent! Thanks for writing!

Alex Raymond

7 years ago

Mark – great points here for driving engagement and results. This theme is too often overlooked.

mark

7 years ago

Thanks, Alex. I appreciate you taking time to comment. Mark

Bob

7 years ago

This is a great post Mark! I really appreciated the content here.
Too often we forget to celebrate our victories. It’s too easy to focus on the next battle!
I’m going to challenge the leaders in the organization I’m currently working with to celebrate with their team. They are in the middle of a huge project and I know that they will be on to the next very shortly. This is really good stuff!!
P.S.
Your article actually inspired my latest post also. Thanks for sharing!!!

mark

7 years ago

Bob, thanks for the encouraging comments! I continue to work on this myself. The next battle always seems imminent. What I’m trying to remember is that celebration makes us stronger for the next battle. I’m on the journey with you! Mark

Susie Snow

7 years ago

I’m very thankful you posted this during the first part of the year. It’s making me rethink our overall annual planning…to make sure “celebrating” is a key to the process. Our group is constantly moving from one project/event to another…and it’s so easy to forget to celebrate the success of each project/event. There may be a few on the team that would rather not bother with this key component, however, I’ve found that most of the team is “lifted” when people are honored and celebrated for a “job well done”. Even the smallest expression of gratitude can make a lasting positive impression!

mark

7 years ago

Susie, thanks for your comment! I agree, people are “lifted” by genuine celebration. Keep it up! Mark

January 30th Carnival of HR - "What Can HR Do for YOU?" - Strategic Planning Software | Kapta

7 years ago

[…] us to remember how (and why) to celebrate our successes to drive performance.  See if you can meet Mark’s challenge to celebrate.  And make it a […]

Mark Page

7 years ago

The image of chocolate cupcakes is protected under international copyright laws and unless you purchased this image you must remove it for face legal action. You can purchase this image here: http://www.istockphoto.com/stock-photo-16709006-chocolate-cupcakes.php

mark

7 years ago

Thanks, Mark. I did purchase this image from istock photos. All of the images on my site are purchased, used by permission or I shoot them myself. As a photographer, I am a stickler on this issue. Thanks! Mark

InteGREAT_Logos_D_1C_WHITE-1

Copyright © 2020 Integreat Leadership. All rights reserved