How to Honor Strength and Celebrate Progress

Celebration establishes, builds, and reinforces positive culture.

A clap does more good than a slap.

If you don’t like what you see, start celebrating the things you want to see.

The more you complain, the more you have to complain about.


Celebration creates culture.

Short-sighted leaders fear celebration.

Negative leaders are stingy with celebration and free with complaint.

  1. What went wrong?
  2. What needs to be fixed?
  3. Who fell short?

Negative leaders build negative environments.

Stingy leaders reserve celebrations for “the big stuff.”

Celebratory questions:

  1. What qualities do you respect in those around you?
  2. What do you love about your job?
  3. What’s going right?
  4. Where are the points of energy in your organization?

Celebration and meetings:

End every meeting with affirmations, congratulations, and recognition.

Celebrate great work and you’ll get more great work.

“But” is an erasure:

A friend of mine taught me to say the good and withhold the bad.

“But” drains positives of their power.

“You’re on target this month, BUT last month you fell short.”

All you hear is the “But”.

“You’re good, BUT you aren’t that good.”

Allow celebration to stand on its own. Don’t mix performance problems with celebrations.

Honor others:

  1. Preparation. “Your contribution to our meeting tells me you came prepared.”
  2. Positive attitudes. “Your positive attitude lifts the spirit in our office.” Don’t sarcastically add, “You should try it more often.”
  3. Laughter. “Laughter in our meetings tells me we enjoy working together.”
  4. Generosity. “Thanks for going the extra mile.”
  5. Strength in others. “You’re great with upset customers.” Don’t add, “I wish I was.”

Don’t let past failure or future uncertainty put an end to celebrating now.

Celebrating requires vulnerability:

The server used my name at breakfast last Saturday. I felt vulnerable, but said, “Thanks for remembering my name.”

What prevents leaders from celebrating?

What small things might you celebrate today?


The Top 10 Reasons Why Leaders Should Celebrate Wins (Reliable Plant)

Successful Leaders Celebrate Their Failures (Forbes)

Celebration Time (Psychology Today)