Let’s get something out of the way, right out of the gates: leading anything is HARD. Whether you’re leading a team, a company, or simply, yourself, leading consumes a fair share of your energy.
Think of yourself as an engine. The same way an engine needs fuel to run, you and your team need fuel to carry on. Nowadays, salaries and trendy offices are not sufficient to drive motivation. Sometimes, you need to remind yourself why you do what you do, or quite simply, what you’re striving for. How? The answer is: Celebrate.
Everyone has a very personal definition of what a win is, primarily because we each have singular backgrounds. For some, signing a big contract is a win, for others paying (or sending) an invoice is. When it comes to finding sources of motivation no wins are too small.
What you are trying to avoid is actually feeling jaded or losing a sense of purpose. It’s particularly true when managing a team. In most cases, a team follows its leader’s vision. Highlighting achievements reminds your team that their hard work not only pays off but isn’t vain.
We rarely take the time to acknowledge that something was actually challenging for us. Usually, when something is behind us, it becomes old news but we often underestimate our desire to see our efforts recognized.
So, how to celebrate a win?
The trick is to not overthink it. Celebrating can be as simple as going out for drinks after work or bringing a treat to share the next day. It makes the moment count and shows that you care. To do that, the first step is to define what constitutes a win, to begin with. You can break down global objectives into smaller more tangible results. For example, the OKR methodology, perfected by Google, allows you to involve your team members in the process of setting their objectives and facilitates identifying potential wins worth celebrating.
What if I don’t have a team?
Then you have even more reasons to treat yourself. If you’re an entrepreneur or undertaking a project on your own, your biggest enemy will be isolation and loneliness. Share your wins with your loved one and be kind to yourself. One of the most underrated celebrations for entrepreneurs is sleeping in after a long hardious day.
And what about failures?
Not all failures are career-threatening. In some of the biggest failure stories in history hid the most memorable discoveries. Take the time to debrief on a project/situation that didn’t end the way you wanted it to. The truth about failure is that it’s above anything a matter of perspective. And as the saying goes « I never lose, I either win or learn. »
Thanks to activities like the Fuckup Nights, a team also have an outlet where they can take a drastically different look at failures or even the chaos behind their apparent biggest wins. The objective is to create a culture of transparency where sharing wins or losses prove how much everyone cares about the outcome.
In conclusion, celebrating wins is really about showing your team and yourself that you care about the journey as much, if not more than the destination. As much as we are expected to lead and achieve, we must also never forget to live and learn.
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