Celebrate Wins as a Team

08.01.2021 |

Episode #10 of the course How to lead in tough times by Frank McKinley


Congratulations! You’ve made it to the last lesson.

When you’ve fought the good fight and pressed on until you feel you can’t press anymore, keep the future in view. Hang a goalpost to hit. Then celebrate when you clear the uprights.


Why Celebrate?

Do people crave appreciation?

Here’s what research firm O.C. Tanner found:

• 79% of workers quit because they felt unappreciated.

• 65% said they got no recognition in the last year.

• 35% said that lack of appreciation reduced their productivity.

• 78% said they’d work harder if it was recognized and appreciated.

Appreciation often only takes a moment. Consider that time an investment. It’s like putting gas in your car’s fuel tank. It won’t move without it!


How to Celebrate

When a Google employee breaks a project, they find its limits. That creates an opportunity to improve. That’s worth celebrating!

A few more reasons to celebrate are:

• Winning for the first time.

• Making a difference for someone.

• Doing fantastic work that is beyond expectations.

• Building a track record of success for a given amount of time.

Catch people doing something right. When you do, there are a variety of ways to reward them.

The most obvious way is with money. This can be a gift card, a pay raise, or an extra paid holiday. These are gifts that they can use any way they wish. Use a cash-based gift when the act you celebrate is above average.

Work is filled with mundane activities repeated over and over. Small gifts can add excitement to the daily grind. Here are a few ideas to stimulate your imagination:

A handwritten note. In the digital age, a handwritten note stands out. Tell someone how much you appreciate them in your own words.

The chance to work on something new. Upgrade their skills with paid training. Offer them the chance to work on a special project. Give them a chance to make a difference.

Play a game where everyone improves. Have milestones where people can win something special. Let them make needed changes they know will make things better. And don’t punish them for experimenting on the way to getting better.

Give them a perk that lasts. Getting to the corner office for a day is good. But letting them upgrade their office permanently is better.

Free lunch. Okay, so there is such a thing. The experience enhances the celebration and makes everyone feel good for the rest of the day and even for days to come.

Get creative! Your team is worth whatever it costs.


The Recap

Here’s a brief summary of each lesson you’ve learned:

1. Embrace reality and you can overcome almost any challenge.

2. Tough situations require leaders with a mean streak.

3. Knowing how to say what you want helps you communicate effectively.

4. Know what’s worth fighting for and let the rest go.

5. Tackle the tough problems and you’ll have fewer problems overall.

6. Teach people to solve problems and you can do more work that matters.

7. Cooperation wins more often than coercion.

8. Delegation helps people become more creative, responsible, and productive.

9. Hire well and you’ll fire less; if you threaten, follow through.

10. Share the credit and the glory and your team will shine.

The best way to strengthen these traits in yourself is to pick one to focus on each week. Challenge yourself to learn more and do more. You might stumble along the way, but over time you’ll be amazed how natural these traits become.

Congratulations! You now have everything you need to become the tough leader your team needs to thrive.


Recommended book

Leadership: In Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin


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