How well do you celebrate people?

"Celebrate what you want to see more of."Tom Peters


I was in Trader Joe's this weekend (buying an assortment of favorite things) when the store's ship bell started to ring and brief cheering ensued.

"What's that all about?" the woman behind me asked. Smiling, the cashier said, "Oh, this is someone's first time to Trader Joe's. We celebrate and ring the bell whenever someone new comes to the store!"

This is brilliant.

Of course, it's perfectly reasonable for a company to respond enthusiastically when they have a new customer, but so few companies actually build celebration into their culture.  In fact, so few people build celebration into their lives.

And yet, who wouldn't enjoy a sincere "atta boy" with extra cheer?

In a work environment, good leaders know to acknowledge regularly their team with positive words: good job, nicely done, well-played are all phrases which motivate and encourage others.

However, GREAT leaders do more than offer nuggets of nice thoughts; they celebrate people in big ways.

They don't whisper their praise, they shout it. They don't give people a nod when things go well, they give them a loud high -five with a fist bump and body slam.

OK.  Maybe there's no body slamming, but they aren't boring when they celebrate people.

Celebrations are, by definition, a little raucous.

If you think your politely-worded email offering congratulations is "great," you're not trying hard enough.

You can do better.

Consider the difference between receiving a card and getting balloons.  One makes someone say, "You're welcome."  The other makes them say, "Aw shucks."

All right.  No one says "aw shucks," but you get the point.  Be bold when you are telling people they are marvelous.

Say it and do that something extra which is impossible to ignore.

If you want to send a message that you are truly excited about someone's impact, celebrate extravagantly.