Celebrate Your Mission And Your Successes
This past week I participated in a committee meeting for a national coaching organization for which I volunteer. Happily, it was a very well-run meeting that featured a number of smart, insightful and committed committee members.
During our meeting, we discussed the mission of the organization and the top priorities for achieving that mission. We talked about the importance of publicizing the mission to all members, all volunteers and all prospective members. I thought back to my days at Georgetown Law and how we created our department mission statement.
The Dean of the Law Center had asked all departments to create and then present mission statements. Some law school department heads asked their #2 people to draft a mission statement, others drafted it themselves, and others, including me, decided to draft our mission statements as a group. Group drafting is always challenging, but I have found that when teammates participate in the creation of a document, they are more likely to buy in to the contents of that document.
And that’s what transpired with our mission statement. We framed it and mounted it in our lobby area. Then team members asked if they could frame it and hang it in their offices. I gladly agreed to pay for the picture frames from our office supply budget. People were proud to post it in their work areas because they had participated directly in its creation.
Do you have a mission statement for your department or your organization?
How did you formulate it?
Do your teammates know the mission statement?
Can they articulate it?
Are they proud of it?
Mission statements can go a long way toward creating the kind of team culture that most leaders desire.
After discussing the mission of our organization, I and my committee peers discussed the process for agreeing upon highest priorities for achieving that mission, a process that should include all board members, committee chairs and members, and even organization members. As we conversed, I noticed a tendency to focus on how hard volunteers work, how much work there still is to do, and how the organization had not yet accomplished everything it aspired to during the past two years.
I interrupted the discussion and asked why there had not been more discussion of all the organization’s achievements since its founding several years ago. I reminded the group that overachieving and committed volunteers often tend to focus on shortcomings, on weaknesses or on goals not yet met. I offered that it is important to step back and reflect upon successes, achievements and accomplishments.
The other committee members ruefully admitted their tendency to focus on tasks that need to still be achieved and not pause and make time to celebrate successes.
How do you handle successes at work?
Do you acknowledge the achievements of individual team members?
Do you do so in front of their peers?
Do you write emails to supervisors or to your own supervisor highlighting the good work of your colleagues?
Every person with whom we work wants to be recognized, to be congratulated when appropriate and to be applauded for special achievements. Making sure we acknowledge our teammates is a critical aspect of leadership.
So, as many people return to their offices this summer and fall, take a moment to think about your team’s mission and the people with whom you work to fulfill that mission.
How can you celebrate that mission?
How can you make sure that your teammates feel appreciated?
Take care of those things that must be addressed. But make sure to enjoy your successes with your team. You deserve it. And so do they!