Embrace the Power of Milestones

Remember the Prince song about “Party Like It’s 1999”?

I was dreamin’ when I wrote this

So sue me if I go too fast

But life is just a party

And parties weren’t meant to last.

It’s an amazing song that inspires you to party with wild abandon. To celebrate the good things – the milestones – that come and go, too briefly.

I was thinking about this recently when my daughter graduated from high school. We are generally good at celebrating rites of passage. In fact, the social pressure to not celebrate things like birthdays and anniversaries, mother’s and father’s days is on the verge of criminal, for many people.

But, in business, there just isn’t the same social impetus to get together and celebrate our achievements and milestones. We usually just move on to focus on the next big problem or opportunity.

Create a Culture of Celebration

After hitting a major profit milestone, the CFO of one of our clients was reviewing the financials, in a recent meeting, when someone said, “Hey, we had a goal to achieve this level a couple of years ago.”

After acknowledging that for just a moment, we went on to dig into the financials of one the divisions losing a bunch of money as we were concerned about what to do to fix it. In that moment, I stopped the meeting.

“Whoa! What just happened here? We just reached a massive milestone and we’re digging into problems.”

Look, you’ll always have problems to fix, and another target to reach. But you miss out when you don’t celebrate your achievements. These occasions create and enhance a culture of celebration, people feel as if they are winning, and are appreciated – and they work together better, to solve the problems that always come up.

A Shout Out

A shout out to Andrew Limouris and his team at Medix who do great work celebrating big achievements. As a great football coach, Andrew gives his executive team Super Bowl rings for their major achievements like reaching $100 million and $250 million in revenues. I have both of mine and we’re all looking forward to the ceremony of receiving another when we hit $500 million. These rings don’t just represent achievement, they are incentive and are an expressed part of the plan to get there.

Make Celebration Part of Your Plan

Talking about how you’re going to celebrate your achievements, when you set your goals, is important.

After our team at Lawrence & Co talked about this, we decided to make a list of big milestones we want to achieve and how we plan to celebrate them, in different ways.

In fact, we’ve articulated an obligation for those celebrations by adding them to a new section in our strategic planning tool.

The Challenge

    • What are the next big milestones you and your team are you going achieve?
    • How are you going to celebrate?

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