Saturday, December 8, 2007


I don't celebrate enough. That's one thing I've realized while reading The Leadership Challenge by Kouses and Posner. And though their advice to celebrate is not unique, it is worth heeding.

I tend to expect people to do what they are supposed to do without any notice. Though this makes sense logically, it does not work well emotionally. Let's face it: we live in a fallen world (and yes, I am writing from a Christian worldview at this point). One implication of that fallenness is that it is really hard to do the right thing over and over, day in and day out. So why not celebrate when people consistently do good?

Today my daughter went nearly the entire day without whining. That is a major accomplishment because (1) she was not feeling well and (2) she tends to whine a lot. When I realized her accomplishment this evening, I had two choices: (1) think to myself, "Finally! It's about time our emotions get some control," or (2) celebrate. I chose option 2 and gave her a nickel (when you're 6, a nickel is pretty cool).

IDEA LEADER: Do you celebrate minor successes or become disappointed by minor failures?


David C said...

Hey Stan! I've gotta say this is oh so true. My wife amazes me at the way she gets our kids to eat a new food by means of a strategic lavishing of praise. To be sure, she uses coaxing or the threat of consequences to get 'em started if it's necessary, but when they take that bite -- BIG celebration. Works every time.

Meanwhile, I've got students working on pretty involved design and site-management projects. Pretty much I expect them to "just do it." Given that they've actually been doing good work, I think some celebration is soon in order ...

Stan said...

The nice thing about a "celebration" is that it does not have to be a big event (i.e. even a nickle will do).

Therefore it is possible to make celebration a regular part of your leadership activities without it depleting other resources.