The Power of Celebrating Successes


When was the last time you celebrated success — I mean, really celebrated? As high performers, we often go without a break from one project to the next, not pausing to look at what we learned or how far we and others have come.  

But taking time to notice and acknowledge is crucial. We're talking about lifting others up this month, and celebrating their successes is one of the key ways to do that.

The first step is getting in the practice of acknowledging your own successes and looking at what you did to make them happen. You can then expand that kind of thinking to your team. We're not talking about just taking "rah-rah" moments, but rather looking at the positive impact made by others and how they did it.

Here are five easy-to-implement strategies to get you started.

  • Use regular debrief sessions. When a project or a meeting is complete, take a few minutes to talk about what went well. (Of course, you should also discuss what to do differently next time, but don't gloss over the positives in a rush to offer suggestions.)

  • Ask people what they are the most proud of in how they accomplished something. You'll learn about what motivates them, which is important information to know as you work to lift others.

  • Start meetings by asking people to share their successes or what's going well. This gives them permission to get excited about their victories, and it gives you more insight as a leader.

  • Send handwritten notes to highlight something specific a team member did well, or make a point to give one-on-one praise outside of group debrief sessions. This reinforces what you value and want to see more of.

  • Don't forget little symbolic gestures. A celebration of success doesn't have to be something formal or planned. Giving a funny memento of a project or taking the team out for an impromptu lunch or happy hour are meaningful ways to show appreciation,

Celebrating successes can help keep your team members engaged and give them insights on how they can repeat their successes. Whatever strategies you choose, take a few minutes to bring more celebration into your week. For more ideas on bringing out the best in yourself and others, check out my book Show Up. Step Up. Step Out. Leadership Through a New Lens.