“Yeah but’s” ruin celebrations
Your problem may be thinking about problems all the time.
Good leaders anticipate and prepare for challenges. To them, the next challenge is a grizzly storm on the horizon that needs to be addressed and conquered. Now is the time to develop a plan, reserve resources, and prepare people.
However, don’t bring up challenges during victory celebrations.
Great leaders pause and celebrate without mentioning impending storms. Let celebrations be celebrations. Pop the cork on stress and be happy.
Celebrate a short-term financial success. Don’t bring up the budget short-fall that everyone already knows about.
“We reached last quarter’s sales goal,” is good enough. Don’t add, “But, we’re off target this quarter.”
Let people enjoy success. Lighten up. Better yet, join the party.
Don’t worry, valid worries are waiting
Don’t ignore impending crisis. Don’t worry; valid problems aren’t going anywhere. They’ll meet you on the way to work tomorrow.
You may believe joyful celebration is the best time to challenge the troops. Usually it isn’t.
You minimize past success by using it as a platform to challenge people. “Great job everyone! Yeah, but we’re behind schedule for our next project.” Yeah-but moments are kill-joys and de-motivators.
You can challenge everyone tomorrow. Today, pause and celebrate.
Have you seen leaders waste a good victory celebration?
Can you think of exceptions to the idea that it’s best to let celebrations be celebrations.
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I have seen people wasting a good victory celebration. I do not count them leaders. Those who waste money and time on victory, could be one who have not expected victory. It could be by fluck or luck. Leaders anticipate victory because they know about their efforts. That does not means, leaders should not celebrate. Genuine celebration and expenditure is always appreciated.
Appearing simple and connected is the better way to celebrate victory. Unexpected victory celebration by unexpected person surprises people. When effort, hard work and perseverance are connected with victory, people acknowledge it and when they are missing, people usually do not appreciate it.
I think, celebrating victory looks sometimes empty and being simple looks more powerful. celebrating looks like blowing your own trumpet. So,I opine that leader should be balanced, connected and happy all the times, whether in victory or defeat.
So true, and very typical of us results-oriented, mission-focused operators. In addition, we need to do more to celebrate everyday successes – find the good things to talk about instead of just focusing everyone on problem solving. Another good reminder.
Master discouragers are well versed in the art of “yeah but.” After attending the University of Discouragement, they graduate, earning a Degree in Downership. Then they enter the work world (or ministry) and commence to working their craft.
Beware the UofD alumni.
Well said Scott.
Every organization should know when, what and how long to celebrate.
Then get back to work.
Geez Scott, you mean my UD PhD (Phooey on Delight) isn’t valued in the market place? There does seem to be a lot of them out there….
Oh, don’t get me wrong. It’s valued alright. Just not the right value to hold. 🙂
Shoot, I have a Masters in Minimization too…does that help?
It helps when UD PhD is valued (which is not the right value) 🙂
I totally agree. We are going through this at the company I am consulting for at the moment. We are celebrating the little victories. Everyone knows that there is still a long way to go without having to be reminded during a celebration.
I’m greatly challenged by this post. As a result of today’s economic pressures, there seems to be less to celebrate. I appreciate your prompt to celebrate small things. I also appreciate your words of caution and wisdom, “Let celebrations be celebrations.” How true. Let’s find something to celebrate today. And, let’s make a song and dance over it.
Have a great week.
Great points Dan. When it comes to celebrating or just giving praise to an individual for a job well done – it never pays to mix messages.
Love it, Dan! Reminds me of that TV commercial where the boss barges in on the birthday celebration and “sings” all the things that need to be done in the interest of efficiency. Totally crushes the team.
A friend and business mentor of mine says that she is “always grateful, never enough”. It is so uplifting when she says that. She is truly grateful for “whatever”. Celebration is a critical piece of business, of life! and we who are “type A’s” have a hard time putting that into our life.
Thanks Dan, as always, you “nailed it!”
Great post, Dan. This also speaks to me of perspective in embracing and pursuing the vision for the good things that God wants us to have in spite of the obstacles that must be overcome to experience them. There are always the naysayers like the 10 spies who saw the bounty of Canaan, but refused to celebrate the opportunity that was theirs, because of the ‘giants’ in the land. May God help us to be like Joshua and Caleb who had a different spirit and were able to celebrate the promise of blessing and walk in the conviction that ‘we are well able to take the land!’
I think this is a post that will help leaders remember to take the time to truly celebrate (and honor) successes.
I suppose the only thing I would add that gets close to your questions about leaders who have “ruined” a good celebration or times when it is not appropriate is that there is really nothing worse than a leader creating a “celebration” as a tool to perpetuate a falsehood about an organization’s outlook. In other words, if things are dire as far as the organization’s likelihood to maintain its existence or the substantial part of a mission, don’t throw a lot of resources at a celebration and stick your head in the sand — acknowledge the accomplishment but give your people the decency of honesty and candor.
(But let’s hope that the situation is more often the “let’s celebrate!” type.
It’s probably not quite as intended, but I needed this message today Dan. I regularly talk about how we need little successes in life. I believe it. And yet sometimes when things get really intense for me, I find myself guilty of ignoring those little successes, not taking the time to acknowledge them as I should and their importance to me, to my family, to my causes. Sometimes I can get so focused on the end goal that I do not always let myself celebrate the micro-moments. You’ve heard me talk about these before, and how those little successes are blessings. But I’ve been guilty of missing them too. And if I’m to practice gratitude, it means I need to be grateful for everything. I’m ashamed to say I’m not always. And of late, it’s been my family who has had to deal with it.
It was spring break last week and we had two narrow misses with my kids and the ER. True blessings. But admittedly, when the plumbing decided to go too, and during our efforts to fix it I ended up sprayed with raw sewage, I could not think of anything but the fact that the week was turning out awful. And my mind was focused on the resulting failure to hit the marks I had planned for the week or catch up on the things I needed to. Everything was wrong.
However, the week wasn’t truly awful. In spite of work plans and goals not being reached during this break, a lot of (albeit unplanned) good things happened. Still, for a while I was pretty much only conscious of the excrement that had uprooted everything, and the final physical reality of which punctuated the feelings that had been growing all week. That nothing was going right and everything had gone to ____. It wasn’t true.
The plumbing is fixed now, the fridge has been replaced, my son didn’t lose an eye and my daughter didn’t have appendicitis. Oh, and on the appendicitis after all the tests – it was merely something harmless that 10 years ago they didn’t have the technology to see and thank goodness for modern medicine not being 10 years behind. Because the doc said otherwise they would have taken her appendix.
Wow. As I look ahead to the damage control I perceive to be on my plate as a result of the schedule going haywire, these are blessings staring at me that I need to stop, embrace and celebrate – even though my tendency in the moment is to try to ignore the stress and stay focused on what did not get done, what I did not accomplish and how to try to rectify it.
I handled three major crises, which all resolved into blessed outcomes. The week wasn’t one of failure; it was one of success. I need to take time to be more grateful and celebrate that.
Thanks for the reminder.
Thank you for sharing. I needed your positive strength today and will remember your attitude when my storms arise. Regards Al
Major ouches there Julia! Very cool that you not only weathered the storm, but were able to regain perspective in a relatively short time. (Not that everything hitting the fan probably didn’t seem like an eternity!…great example of relativity though!)
And in a while…you and your fam will probably laugh over it, maybe not just yet, but you will.
I second Al’s props to you!!
Thanks Doc and Al, y’all are sweet. 😉
“Yes, but …” is the typical sentence of the mismatching metaprogrammed people.
Let’s kill the mismatching people!
Kidding of course…
Honestly for them, it’s really hard to just say “yeah”. Their inner filter shows them what is not working, what is not as usual…
The mismatching metaprogram is useful in many life areas, but not so much for celebration.
Celebration is an apprenticeship. And as they are certainly not more stupid than the rest of the population, they can learn!
I too deeply believe successes should be celebrated no matter what, without “buts”. Thing is, it’s not often easy, especially for those leaders who tend to worry way too much, and there are many out there.
Even if the war has a long way ahead of us, it’s still very good to celebrate winning a battle, for everyone involved in it.
I know someone who is a “yeah, but . . .” type of person. Now, when I see him coming, I want to run the other way. I just know he is going to find something negative to point out.
As leaders, we can’t be approachable if we are “yeah, but . . .” people. A little encouragement goes a long way!
Life is too rough and complicated not to take advantage of all the great or for that matter good moments. Celebration is always important and even in death to keep the memories of the ones we love alive, it is critical to put them in the spotlight and highlight all the good they gave us. There is never a wrong time to beat the drum and enjoy the triumphs no matter how small. These rejoicing moments will only fuel the resolve to learn from failures and make the necessary adjustments to move forward. I love the picture Dan and it reminds me that to see the rainbow one frequently if not always needs to endure a little rain. Cheers Al
Leaders do tend to ‘lock on’ the pending ‘rough and complicated’ to get those fixed because there is so much that they see on the ‘to do’ list. Probably one of the weaknesses/opportunities of many leaders is taking the time to pause, breathe, smile, enjoy and mine the golden nugget moments on the journey. They are there and it involves that person right next to you, just have to take a break from scanning the horizon…
(Hey Al, I heard Dan deducted his vacation costs to that photographed site as a biz expense!)