Great leaders understand organizational success requires commitment to core values and goals; authentic and timely communication; collaboration to identify the best possible action plans, timelines, and solutions; and, they know how and when to celebrate!

Indeed, great leaders celebrate! They celebrate the big wins of course, but more importantly, they seek opportunities to celebrate the little ones too. They actively acknowledge incremental improvements, a job well done, extra efforts, and positive can-do attitudes.  When they do, it feels like a mini-celebration for the recipient, because he or she feels valued. That’s what celebration is all about! Big or small, I’m talking about taking the time to recognize and acknowledge contributions and successes.  I’m talking about valuing those around us, and even ourselves sometimes too!

You know what happens when we feel valued? For one thing, the old saying “success-breeds-success” kicks into high gear and we become motivated to keep up the good work! What happens when an individual’s motivation to contribute in positive and meaningful ways is high?  Well it is contagious, in a really good way! Good for encouraging teamwork, problem solving, and goal achieving.  Good for attracting and retaining the greatest talent. Good for the individual and great for the organization!

As we kick-off 2016, I encourage you to seek out daily opportunities to celebrate. Don’t wait for the 100% accomplishment or the huge wind-fall. Adopt a “celebrate now” mentality and acknowledge incremental improvement and accomplishments real time.  You will quickly realize how impactful this practice is to the people around you, and you’ll begin to experience the word “celebrate” in a whole new and wonderful way.

Yes, celebrating may still be a well-planned event – that’s wonderful for the big wins and goal accomplishments – but the celebrate now mentality is much simpler, immediate, and builds steady momentum and motivation to succeed.

Want to get your “celebrate now” mentality jump-started? As soon as you recognize a job well done, experience incremental improvement, or just feel appreciative, try this:

  1. Acknowledge the accomplishment sincerely and specifically: Smile, look the other in the eyes, and say “thank you”; high-five, do your happy dance, laugh with joy and pride; buy someone a coffee or lunch, as a treat for a job well done; and for goodness sakes, share the good news with people who matter – maybe with peers or up the chain of command!
  2. Consider the recipient’s personality: Private conversation or public acknowledgement? Some people really hate public acknowledgement, but truly appreciate a private conversation.
  3. Do it now. Procrastination weakens the positive impact on you and those around you, and increases the likelihood you will never get around to it.

A while back I told you we could all take a few ques from nature and ramp-up our success. I shared how species that live in communities are completely committed to their clan’s survival, are constantly communicating and collaborating, and take time to celebrate along the way. They exist in a continual, and sometimes overlapping, cycle of committing, communicating, collaborating, and celebrating.

The same is true for all successful individuals and organizations. It isn’t that the most successful don’t face the same challenges as others, it is that they are relentlessly committed, never stop communicating, actively collaborate for the best possible outcomes, and find little ways to celebrate each step of the way.

It’s 2016. Go forth and celebrate!

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