Remote Team Leaders Celebrate Small Wins

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This article is a part of the series Re-Inventing Leadership: 9 Things Virtual Leaders must focus on.

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Have you given up on your goals and dreams this year? If there’s one overall mood that’s being felt through this pandemic, it’s the mood of resignation. People are tired, people are defeated, people have been up against so many barriers this year that they’re just ready to turn the calendar in December and chock 2020 up as a loss.

But I say, DON’T GIVE UP!

You can turn it around, and as a leader, the action you should be taking is Celebrating. In fact, if you dedicated this last quarter to celebrate with your team, you’d be surprised at the amount of progress you can make in the last three months.

Let’s hear what Brendon says about celebrating small wins.

How Celebrating Small Wins Helps You (and your team) Win

Create a Clear Vision

What is it that you really want to accomplish before the end of 2020? Think about what that looks like individually, as a team and as an organization.

Breakdown the Plan

Break down the big vision into 3-4 smaller achievable steps.

Focus smaller goals on learning, mastery and improvement. (For example, these could be improving KPI’s)

Celebrate Small Wins

Focus on celebrating these wins individually, with your team and organizationally. Select one or two people to act as your support.

The most important component in these steps, is the ability to habitually celebrate small wins, even in the hardest of times. To do that, we must shift our perspective.


To Celebrate Small Wins, We Must Shift Our Perspective

β€œCatch someone doing something right, and watch them do it right over and over again.”

Being able to identify and celebrate small wins is a skill. It’s not common practice, and in order for it to become common practice, we have to first, change our perspective.

Think about a kid you interact with in your life. What happens when you tell that kid β€œdon’t fall”? What do they do? They fall. Then, what if you tell the kid β€œdon’t run.” What do they do? They run. But, on the flip side when you tell the kid to walk, then they walk. We should focus not on the undesired behavior, but on the DESIRED behavior. This is because our brains are terrible listeners. We hear the word β€œdon’t,” but it just doesn’t process. We just hear the word after “don’t” and think that’s the word we need to listen to.

This same principle applies to leadership because whether we’re dealing with kids, or adults, it all comes down to the way our brains work. And, let’s be real, to be constantly telling everyone what not to do is exhausting.

How can you quickly become a more effective leader with less effort?

If you want a simple strategy, start by celebrating more.

Celebrating Small Wins Over Time Creates Huge Progress

Celebrating small steps creates real progress over time. Small steps can seem almost insignificant. Small steps is like connecting to Zoom and navigating breakout rooms right for the first time. It’s getting through the morning standup without anyone talking over each other for the first time since the pandemic. It’s accomplishing the first project together virtually. 

The setbacks your team has faced this year requires that you celebrate with your team more. Think of celebrating small wins as the oxygen for your team. It’s the light they need on every day, not just difficult days. It’s going to fuel their positive actions, improve their resilience, and achieve great impact this year.

A team is group of people who share a promise. To achieve that promise, celebrate with your team.

Celebrate With Your Team Three Ways


Win Journal

Creating a win journal is a critical habit, and is especially important for leaders to do. But if you could get your team to start writing down their wins as well, it’s a double-bonus. Tracking your progress impacts your overall mood and motivation.

  1. Set a timer for the last 5 minutes at work to write down 3-5 small wins of the day.
  2. Detect your wins even on your worst days.
  3. Extroverts: Tell the world about your small wins. Introverts, write your wins down, and tell a friend/colleague.

As a team:

Team Wins Conversation 

Acknowledge each others small wins (especially in those on your team that bug you the most)

Identify one or two teammates that you want to share your goals with to help you identify your small wins

As an Organization:

Internal Podcasts

Creating internal podcasts for your organization is a great way to celebrate the people of your company. We’ve helped large organizations begin their internal podcasts by asking simple questions so that people can get to know each other better.

  • What do you like about your job?
  • Tell us about your family and kids?
  • Where do you like to travel?

55 Small Wins to Celebrate with Your Team

  1. Actually being able to go to work. (COVID perspective)
  2. Being able to work from home. (COVID perspective)
  3. Not hitting traffic on the way to work.
  4. Coming to work in a good mood.
  5. Coming to work to find others in a good mood.
  6. Starting work and discovering no major disaster occurred overnight.
  7. Writing down your top three priorities of the day.
  8. Reminding yourself about the goals and vision you and your team are trying to reach.
  9. Giving a team member words of encouragement.
  10. Receiving words of encouragement from a team member.
  11. Asked for encouragement when you needed it.
  12. You have all the tools you need to do your job.
  13. You have all the skills and knowledge you need to do your job.
  14. You’re learning the skills you need to do exceptional at your job.
  15. No-one is trying to ruin your accomplishments.
  16. You’re feeling motivated.
  17. You have energy to get through a project.
  18. Completed a task without distraction.
  19. Became aware of important information.
  20. Connected with someone on your team on a personal level.
  21. Turned a failure into a lesson.
  22. Reached a milestone for a goal.
  23. Shared a bold idea.
  24. Made space for creative work.
  25. Recognized someone’s accomplishment.
  26. Helped a disagreement find a win-win.
  27. Embraced a diverse way of thinking.
  28. Held someone accountable.
  29. Declared a breakdown.
  30. Completed a task to a high standard.
  31. Learned something new.
  32. Set a boundary.
  33. Held a boundary.
  34. Spoke up when typically you don’t.
  35. Listened when normally you don’t.
  36. Clarified unmet expectations.
  37. Were courageously honest.
  38. Worked within my strengths.
  39. Accomplished a challenging task.
  40. Embraced uncertainty.
  41. Stepped into my power.
  42. Was Sincere.
  43. Included others.
  44. Had someones back.
  45. Asked questions.
  46. Demonstrated a value.
  47. Took breaks.
  48. Re-Energized.
  49. Shared my feelings.
  50. Did something vulnerable.
  51. Took a risk.
  52. Coached a direct report.
  53. Took action.
  54. Accomplished meaningful work.
  55. Helped others see meaning in their work.
  56. Improved a process.

To Achieve Success, Start Detecting Your Small Wins

Inspirational Quotes

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