It is very important for leaders to take time and celebrate wins along the way. Here are 6 reasons why I like to celebrate my volunteers and teams.
1) I want my team fired up and inspired.
On my football team in high school, as we would prepare to go out onto the field, we would crank up music really loudly. Metallica, Black Sabbath, anything to get the adrenaline going. Our coach would rile us up with some last minute advice. We would hit helmets and slap shoulder pads. We were inspired and ready to win.
Leaders, it's important for you to do the same with your teams. You want to celebrate along the way. When someone on your team wins, so does everyone. So celebrate them and fire up the whole squad. Play some Metallica right before Sunday morning church starts if you have to.
2) I want my team to know I'm proud of them.
This is not an individual endeavor. We are a team. You might be leading the way, but we're in this together. So celebrate your team and let them know you're proud of them for what they do. I want my team to know that I'm grateful for their participation and that I'm proud they're on my team. Not much helps that happen like celebrating wins along the way.
3) I want my team to recognize progress.
All leaders want their teams to know where they're going. But one of the best ways to remind them of that is to look back and see how far you've come. Tell a few, "I remember when," stories. Show your team how they have progressed. If you can get them excited about how far they have come, they will likely follow you the rest of the way up the hill.
4) I want my team to catch their breath.
As much as we may not want to admit it, our teams need to catch their breath. Especially when it comes to volunteer teams. A team inspired by your vision and the wins along the way, will go further than you can imagine. But if you aren't allowing them to celebrate and catch their breath, you run the risk of burning out your best and brightest. Because even the best among us has to stop and smell the roses. I'm not talking about pampering or creating a culture of entitlement with your team. But to celebrate your team after a busy season is a great way to allow them to catch their breath so they're ready to go the next mile with you.
And maybe to be a little selfish, a time of celebrating wins allows the leader to catch their breath as well. And maybe even get a fresh sense of vision and where the organization or ministry is going next.
5) I want my team to know I enjoy them.
The last thing I want is for anyone on my team to believe I'm in this for myself. Or that I am using them to accomplish building my own kingdom or church. So I take time and celebrate with my team because I genuinely enjoy them. I love my teams. I have some of the best people around me and I couldn't be more grateful. A season of celebrating, sharing dinner together, going out to a local open mic night and listening to some music. Whatever it might be, I want my team to know I genuinely enjoy them and that we are in this together. I am not interested in using or manipulating them.
Leaders, I hope you feel the same about your teams.
6) I want my team to trust God for the results.
This is especially true for ministry leaders. When you take some time to celebrate, moments where you aren't hard charging at a goal or plan, you create the culture that tells your team, "God is in charge here." We can all work hard enough where we can believe the lie we tell ourselves about how great we are. But if we are taking intentional time to celebrate, it gives us the opportunity to recalibrate our eyes to God who is the One giving the results.
This is about what God is doing in His world and Kingdom. Not about what we can do on our now power. Celebrating God along the way helps create the culture where our eyes are constantly on God and not on us.
What are some of your reasons for celebrating with your team?
Listen to the podcast here.