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Celebrating Success

How often have you wanted to jump for joy or hail a ‘whoop!’ but instead have urged your team ‘not to count your chickens’ or quickly dismissed any praise with a  “it’s not such a big deal, really” ’.

Too often we see leaders avoiding or overlooking the celebration of these milestones, big or small. But why? Are we concerned that celebrating sends the wrong message to our teams, fostering complacency or an expectant attitude? Do we feel exposed if we allow our/others’ emotions to rise to the occasion?

Maybe we’ve been burned in the past by celebrating too soon, and the perceived risk of embarrassment, even humiliation, makes us hesitant? Do we view celebrating as being over-indulgent? Perhaps this rings true in our personal lives, too?

Maybe we think that, somehow, by celebrating the moment, we will jinx the situation. So we decide it’s probably best not to – best to keep quiet and remain nonchalant, avoid the risk…

Now, don’t get us wrong – we are not suggesting you start endorsing people to run round the office with their t-shirt over their head because someone viewed their LinkedIn profile. But, if the small stuff isn’t recognised, where’s the motivation to achieve the big stuff? If it does all go wrong, will it be worse for having celebrated it in the first instance?

We think it’s about clearly communicating the small, incremental milestones that need to be achieved in order to reach the bigger goals. Then, when the small wins happen, the celebration that ensues is anchored to tangible, recognisable achievements. And, if you make the celebration relative to the size of the achievement, which could simply be pulling your team aside for a 2 minute shout-out, you can’t go wrong.  It’s not being preemptive or over-indulgent, it’s essential to getting your team where you want to be.

So, go forth and celebrate the little wins. Lean into the hard stuff and look someone in the eye when you say ‘well done’, say it out loud, own it, embrace the feels and be a trailblazer for vulnerability and celebrating in that joyful moment.


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