Learning to celebrate
We have a long-held tradition of going out as a team on the last night of the month for a celebratory meal together. I can’t quite remember how or when it started. We band together to cheer and support those who have yet to finish their required sales volumes. After the hard work and sometimes nail-biting moments, we go and chill out together.
This doesn’t happen every month; sometimes, in the hurly-burly of life, this seemingly unimportant and unnecessary tradition gets forgotten, or is side-lined by other more important matters. In fact, for months, we had not had such an outing together.
June 30th was a very busy day for most of us. It marked the end of the first half of the year which had whizzed by so quickly. Our leader felt that we should have a meal together. Hence, we left our office at about 8:30pm for Por Kee Restaurant. Some people looked rather glum, some looked disinterested, like they were just tolerating this. Yet others looked tired and unwell. The good thing is they turned up anyway. I think they just wanted to play team, to follow the leader! Just before eating, James spoke on the importance of celebration.
We really needed someone to hold on to this vision of the celebratory dinner, to keep up this practice. James was that person. If not for him, dinner together that night might not have happened.
For him, this was not some mindless rah-rah activity. Neither was it merely about food. It was a purposeful activity. Why?
We needed to learn to celebrate because, firstly, celebration is a mindset. Celebration is a practice of seeing the cup half full instead of half empty. Celebration is a choice to be happy and grateful. We practice being able to see the positive.
I looked around the table. A few didn’t have a successful month. Even those who succeeded in hitting their sales target would gripe about not hitting some other business goals they had. If I chose to, I could always see something wrong. Conversely, I could choose to see something right! This is a MUST for survival because, if I can do that, it means I can see the good around, and in others. When I do that, the good feelings generated give strength for the next game. That night, I saw that those who didn’t have a ‘successful’ month had, in fact, improved month on month.
Secondly, team celebration is about bonding. When I celebrate, I am reminded that I don’t play the game alone. This is a team game like football. If someone else scores a goal, it is the whole team that wins! Some people managed to qualify for an incentive trip last month, while others achieved high sales volumes. Next up will be my turn and people will celebrate for me and with me. I want people to be there for me when I am winning – to double the joy – and when I am seemingly ‘losing’, to halve the pain!
Thirdly, it is acknowledging that a milestone had been reached and we are one step closer to the goal. In our business, completing a month is not something to be taken for granted. It is an opportunity to “stop, look, choose” – an opportunity to look at what worked and what didn’t. And to choose a new game.
Anyway, I don’t imagine that I would feel better if I just went home to mope around on 30th June looking at what didn’t work and what could have been. I think it will destroy my energy and hope for the next month.
Yet, despite all these reasons, the fact that several players didn’t feel like coming for the team celebration meant that celebrating is something we need to learn to do! And James used this opportunity to drive home the value of celebration and turned a simple dinner gathering into a meaningful lesson