“Accept the challenges, so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory.” ~ General George S. Patton
Teams celebrate victories. Celebration builds momentum and “momentum is a leader’s friend”. In football, players dance in the end zone and pour Gatorade over coaches. In baseball, team members bump chests at home plate and pile on top of each other next to the pitcher’s mound. Celebration is the release of energy prompted by a great achievement. It is also a great catalyst for generating momentum to face the next big challenge.
Leaders must be intentional about why, when and how they celebrate. Celebration is an individual prize of appreciation received in the context of a team. Celebration is always most meaningful when shared with those who helped you win the victory. How well do you celebrate victories with your team? Here’s an example of a big day in the life of King David and how he celebrated with his people:
Then David and the elders of Israel and the generals of the army went… to bring the Ark of the LORD’s Covenant up to Jerusalem with a great celebration… David was dressed in a robe of fine linen, as were all the Levites who carried the Ark, and also the singers, and the choir leader…So all Israel brought up the Ark of the LORD’s Covenant with shouts of joy, the blowing of rams’ horns and trumpets, the crashing of cymbals, and loud playing on harps and lyres. (1 Chronicles 15:25-28)
This was a huge victory that called for a huge celebration. One of the first rules of celebrating is that the size of the celebration should fit the size of the victory. When a football team gets a first down, the celebration isn’t as big as celebrating a Super Bowl victory. No one goes to Disney World because they got a first down. However, some first downs that help keep a drive alive are worthy of a celebration. Leaders must demonstrate discernment when it comes to when and how much to celebrate.
Another rule for celebrating is to never celebrate “average.” Not every daily achievement needs to be celebrated. Celebration must remain “special” and if you do it too often or for average accomplishments, it will lose its value. If you think about it, the majority of teams are average. Your team must rise well above average to create victories worth celebrating.
Learn to be intentional about celebrating with your team. Your team members will feel valued and appreciated if you do it well. Celebration will motivate your team and build momentum toward the next victory. If you are not good at celebrating, you probably have someone on your team who is. Recruit them to help you in this area.
Look for something to celebrate today. Inspire your team to reach for something big and then celebrate with them when they achieve their goal. Purposefully rise above average and accomplish something you can celebrate!