by Brenda Bence
When your team experiences a success, what do you do? Do you ignore these wins, automatically working toward the next goal without an acknowledgement of what has been achieved? Do you share a quick "congratulations" or "good job" and then head back into your office?
In our non-stop, 24-7 world, it's all too easy to place immediate focus on your next task at hand and forget to stop and reflect on what's been achieved. But if you ignore the wins of your team, you miss a vital opportunity not only to inspire your team on to even greater successes, but to strengthen your own leadership personal brand in the process.
Why is that important? Your leadership personal brand — defined as the way others perceive, think and feel about you as a leader — can make or break your success. It impacts your image, your reputation, your relationships, and your performance. As a result, it will also impact your overall career and your finances. So, if you gloss over your team's successes without recognition, what does that say about you as a leader? How do you think employees perceive, think and feel about a leader when their efforts go unappreciated? Those perceptions also reflect on the company as a whole, and that kind of downward spiral can mean loss of some of your best team members.
Here are the top 10 reasons why celebrating wins is important for you, your team, your company and for building up your own leadership personal brand. Celebrating wins ...
- ...reminds you of the goal you set and why you set it in the first place. It's easy to forget why a goal was important, but forgetting that removes all meaning from the task. When people remember why the work they do helps grow the business, they're inspired to do more.
- ...reminds you that a good, focused goal-setting process works. You set the goal, create strategies to achieve it, and reach the outcomes you want. This not only delivers good results, but it inspires your team to set goals in all areas of their work as well.
- ...motivates your team to continue delivering good work. Employees who feel appreciated and know their efforts have been noticed become even more productive with the next round of projects.
- … unifies the team around a positive outcome. If there are members of your team who are struggling to get along, reminding them that they have achieved a common goal helps bring them together.
- ...reminds the team that they work for a winning organization. People want to work for winners! So, one of the greatest morale-builders that a leader can offer employees is the knowledge that they work for a successful company, even if — and especially if — there are other areas where the company might be struggling.
- ...forces you and your team to concentrate on the positive rather than the negative. Even if your company has taken some hits in the down economy, there are still wins you can celebrate. Give your team a boost by celebrating and reminding them that good things are still happening for the company.
- ...builds momentum for you and your team. When a success is celebrated, everyone is reminded that their ability to reach one specific goal indicates just how close they are to achieving even greater goals.
- ...gets you away from mundane day-to-day tasks. No matter how briefly, changing your team's mindset from "work" to "celebration" gives both you and your team renewed positive energy on the job.
- ...allows you to connect with colleagues and coworkers in a way that is not just work-related. It helps you build a more personal connection with your team — another great way to boost your leadership personal brand.
- ...allows you to reward specific employees. When you're clear about what went well — naming names, dates, great ideas and the deadlines that were met or exceeded, you not only legitimize the celebration, but you reinforce the kinds of behaviors that the company values. This shows your team exactly how they can earn similar celebrations in the future.
As a leader, it's your job to keep your team motivated toward their own growth as well as toward the common goal of growing and building the company. Celebrating wins is a great way to do both and has the great side effect of boosting your own leadership personal brand at the same time.
Brenda Bence is an internationally recognized branding expert, certified executive coach, professional speaker and author of the "How YOU Are Like Shampoo" personal branding book series. As president of Brand Development Associates (BDA) International, Ltd., Bence now travels the world speaking, training and coaching individuals and companies to greater success through corporate and personal brand development. See www.BrendaBence.com for more information.