Over, Done, Celebrate!
Posted on December 21, 2008 by Blake Leath
Friday -- yesterday -- was our daughter's last day of school "for FIFTEEN days!"
As she bounded in the door at the conclusion of her day, she shot her fisted-hands into the air and shouted, "It's over!"
...you should have seen the look on her face when we reminded her that she had piano this morning at 9AM. It was as if she was in high school, circa 1984, and someone shouted, "Psyche!"
After a slow, cold start, she enjoyed piano this morning, and as we walked to the car to return home from the lesson, she shot her fisted-hands into the air and shouted, "I'm done!"
...and now, officially, she is.
We can commence with her Christmas holiday, returning her to school some two weeks from now.
Her exuberance reminded me of something. (Yes, it certainly reminded me of my own childhood and that feeling when school was indeed over, if only temporarily, and both lazy and fun days were ahead.)
But it also reminded me of something I see with many leaders: the failure to CELEBRATE SUCCESSES.
A close second to 'communication,' the failure to celebrate workplace successes is an all-too-common ailment.
It's as if the employees arrive at the top of Mt. Everest, red-faced, breathing heavily, stooped over, and the boss (looking forward to the horizon and future peaks & projects to summit) shouts, "NEXT!"
Wide-eyed, the employees nearly pass out. "Are you kidding me?" they think.
As year-end approaches, promise me that one of the New Year Resolutions that you do keep will be this one: acknowledge successes, relish them, enjoy them... and allow people to savor them before proceeding to the next fire. Even if it's only a couple days, a simple pizza party, or hearfelt words or cards. Do something by allowing them to fill dead-air with laughter, celebration, and congratulatory praise. THEN, and only then, tackle the next summit.
People can summit only so many mountains and extinguish so many fires before they themselves collapse or burn out. We each can learn a great deal from professionals who practice deep and prolonged recovery techniques to recharge the 'ol batteries. And yes, there are ways to do this in today's harried environment.
But for today, just remember that "It's over" and "I'm done" followed by a "PSCYHE!" wasn't funny in high school, and it sure ain't funny now.