by Deborah Hartung, founder of Pivot PeopleTech
As the year winds down and we’re all tempted to start planning for the next year, it’s important to take a moment to do a bit of a retrospective and to celebrate the successes we have had to date. In fact, it’s an important aspect of our development as leaders, that we are able to celebrate the small wins and reinforce that we are on the path to success, no matter what that looks like in our business or personal lives.
Spring is in the air here in the Southern Hemisphere and most people I know have been furiously Spring cleaning and letting some stuff go. It’s a bit of a strange time of the year for all of us because we are getting to that final quarter ‘slump’ in energy. At the same time though, there’s all this electric energy around us and the promise of warm summer days and time spent with loved ones. It’s also a stressful time of the year as many of us are either entering our busiest time of the year, or our quietest and we stress not only about the work that needs to be done, but the money that needs to come in.
We tend to focus so much on the ‘daily hustle’ and on our struggles to keep our sanity in a tough economic climate, that we actually forget to celebrate the successes that we – or our team mates – have accomplished at work or in personal lives. However, celebrating the small wins is actually a very powerful motivating factor and sharing our stories of overcoming and achievement really inspires those around us to climb their own mountains and reach their own goals.
So, before you get too caught up in planning your summer holiday or allow yourself to be your own emotional punching bag for the goals that you perhaps haven’t quite met, let’s take some time to look at what all we have achieved this year so far and let’s share and celebrate those successes!
Why it’s important to Celebrate Success
We all set goals for ourselves and we work really hard to achieve those goals. Recognising and celebrating success is a very powerful motivator for individuals and teams because it reinforces the meaning behind all that hard work and it shows appreciation for the achievements. This, in turn, boosts our self-esteem and it motivates us to take the next step towards achieving the next goal.
Tell the Story
Have you ever read the story of someone who had to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles and ended up victorious in the end? Or perhaps you have attended one of our Lionesses Lean In events and heard the stories of other women in business? Even if the story didn’t apply to your life at all, how did you feel when you had finished reading it or hearing it? You may not have climbed Kilimanjaro or beaten a life-threatening illness or made your first million this year, but I am willing to bet that you overcame some pretty hefty obstacles of your own and you did some pretty cool stuff. Tell that story! Be it to yourself or to your friends or your team at work. In sharing our stories in an authentic and vulnerable way, we connect deeply with others and we give them permission to be authentic and vulnerable in their humanity, too. It also shows people that we all have setbacks and we all have things to overcome and that we may not always reach the goal in it’s entirety and that too, is ok. As long as we keep working in a positive way to achieving what we set out to achieve, our stories can and do motivate others.
Frequency and Consistency
Even if you are practicing gratitude on a daily basis and taking some time out on a Sunday to examine the past week and giving yourself a little pat on the back for what went well, it is possible that you are not actually ‘celebrating’ your success and it is very possible that you’re getting caught up in the hustle and not celebrating your team’s successes because you’re simply too distracted to do it.
It’s best to recognise the efforts of others as soon as possible. A simple ‘thank you’ has been found to boost productivity by up to 50% and it’s up to us as leaders, to create an environment where we show constant appreciation. It’s also important to be consistent and show ongoing appreciation for the hard work and commitment of others and if you are a solopreneur, it’s important that you show yourself this same kindness.
Thank you’s and hugs are all great, but what is a celebration without making a bit of a fuss? It doesn’t have to be expensive or flashy in any way. It could be as simple as having a cup of tea in beautiful surroundings or bringing freshly baked muffins to work and celebrating each other’s success over a cup of coffee and shared stories. It may be time off work to go and do something fun or simply to rest or it could be an actual celebration of epic proportions – whatever your can afford and whatever the achievement calls for. Celebrating success is so much more impactful if we link it to some kind of reward.
As we rapidly move towards the end of this whirlwind of a year, please take some time out to appreciate your efforts and those of the people around you. Celebrating your successes to date may just give you that much-needed motivation to make it through these final few months and aim even higher next year. And I’m willing to bet that when you look back on this year to date and you look at all you’ve overcome and all you have achieved, you will be more than just a little proud of what you have done – and you should be proud! You walk in a pride of lionesses and you are supported by hundreds of thousands of sisters who are all rooting for you and who all want you to succeed!
Deborah Hartung is a consultant, coach, author and speaker, and the founder of Pivot PeopleTech. She loves helping entrepreneurs find their unique voice and leadership style in order to empower them to create amazing places where people truly want to work. She has spent the majority of her career in HR and labour relations management and consulting, gaining experience in all fields related to the human experience in the workplace. While her main focus remains on consulting, coaching and training in the HR and labour relations space, Deborah is passionate about people and technology and the opportunities for the advancement of humanity in the digital age. Professionally, Deborah is known as an HR turnaround specialist with a proven track record in improving workplace culture, employee engagement and organisational effectiveness. www.pivotpeopletech.co.za
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