Most leaders know the value of celebrating their employees when they deserve it. But when it comes to you and your leadership success, do you actually make a point to honor what’s great about YOU? If you’re more of a humble leader, you may shy away from even the thought of recognizing your success in any other way than privately. But Disciplined Leaders learn to make a point to celebrate their own wins in ways that are neither cocky nor egotistical. They may take a day off or even a long-deserved vacation. Or, they may simply share the excitement and build connection by announcing their news to others, always honoring anyone else who helped make it happen. Thinking about the 2016 presidential candidates, both candidates seem to have no qualms about highlighting, sharing and even celebrating their wins. In fact, some might argue they often go a little overboard. Yet talking about your triumphs when you’re genuinely proud of yourself isn’t something about which to be ashamed, particularly if you’re like a lot of leaders who have the habit of talking more about their shortcomings than their successes. So don’t deny your own needs for recognition or reward. It’s likely you deserve it at times. Treat yourself like a VIP and celebrate you for a change.
Here’s how to add a bit more accountability around the activity of celebrating YOU:
Schedule time to review your success. It’s not possible to know if you’re making progress with your leadership goals if you don’t take the time to assess where you’ve been relative to those goals and where you are now. So carve out a couple of hours away from the office or other distractions to thoroughly review your productivity and performance. Look for wins, whether that’s been through consistent progress and/or how you’ve taken excellent corrective action in spite of challenges, setbacks or any “surprises.” And make this a quarterly practice at the least.
Start tracking future success. Whenever you do something that feels like success, write it down. This doesn’t have to be complicated. You can record it in a journal, on a spreadsheet on your computer, on the “notes” app located in your smartphone, or just on a piece of paper you have handy at your desk. Then when it comes time to review your successes, you won’t have to think back over the past few months or year. It’ll be right there—already done and ready for you.
Pick your rewards/recognition. Only you and you alone will know what feels good in terms of celebrating your successes. So think about it. If you’ve met some weekly goal, maybe you reward yourself with lunch at your favorite spot. Or if it’s a larger goal, maybe the reward comes through a well-deserved vacation or a couple of days off. No doubt, when choosing your rewards, it depends on what you like—and only you alone can figure that out. The point is to do it! And what about when it comes to giving yourself a bit of self-recognition? This activity could be as simple as announcing you’ve hit a professional goal at your team meeting—and letting people know you’re really proud of this win. If you’ve surrounded yourself with the right team of people, they care about you and will want to hear your good news. Of course, if that goal was made possible in part by others, remember to be humble and real about it, praising their contributions to your success as well. And finally, keep in mind that if the goal or success you’ve achieved is something newsworthy and/or adds value to your organization’s image/credibility, a media release may be in order. Examples might include receiving a leadership award, attaining impressive professional credentials, or being elected to an important position in your community—so don’t shy away from promoting such news. If you’re doing things that matter or will have an impact, it’s more than OK to share it.
In what ways have you rewarded your own successes in the past?