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Learning To Celebrate Good Times In Leadership

May 31, 2018 Silvia Damiano

Long hours, long days, and even long nights. Sometimes the job demands hard work that never seems to end. All this hard work hopefully pays off, and the task is complete. But then what? Taking the time to celebrate a job well done is important to ensure continued high performance and mental readiness for the next task that comes along.



How many times have you laboured over a project, putting in hours beyond count? A project that pulls your attention away from your home life, and from other work demands, and even from taking good care of yourself? You cannot sustain this kind of workload. Eventually, your performance will suffer. And so will your brain.

You may scoff, and continue to push papers and get work done at a breakneck pace. But burnout syndrome is really a thing, and it typically manifests with a loss of energy, progressive exhaustion, and a decrease in motivation. A recent study found that workers in top positions tended to skip meals or have unhealthy meals and snacks. They found that people who were more tired made unhealthy food choices, which could compromise their health and increase their body mass index (Armenta-Hernández, 2018).


Absolutely! You work hard, so you deserve to celebrate success. And it isn’t just about you (surprise, surprise!). You need to consider your workers, as well. Would the success have come about without the support of others working with you? Chances are, the answer is NO! Most of us aren’t a one-man (or woman) band; we need support staff to help accomplish goals in a timely manner. These people deserve to celebrate their hard work, too.

Celebrating success can improve:

  • The office environment. You want to cultivate an office atmosphere that is conducive to innovative, creative work. Running a sweatshop and squeezing every last bit of effort from people is not going to last. Eventually, you’ll be standing alone, and your staff will have moved on to better horizons.
  • Performance - for everyone involved. If you expect people to always give 100% and to always do their best, and then you don’t celebrate that hard work, you are going to see a gradual, or sometimes dramatic, drop in performance. If people don’t feel that their needs are being fulfilled, they will leave, taking their talent with them.
  • Mental readiness. A ‘job well done’ can work wonder on our brains, and taking time to reset and celebrate successes can ensure that you and your workers are mentally ready for the next challenge. Plus, a break from the daily grind and routine is helpful to jumpstart your brain.


Nearly everyone says ‘happy birthday’ to someone on their birthday. But this was just a day that we happened to be born on. Why not celebrate our deeds and accomplishments? When you complete a huge project, you and everyone else who worked on that project can probably see how much effort was expended.

But why not celebrate the small stuff, too? Donate your time to a local shelter, or go out and plant trees on the weekend. You can do a million things that will make the world a better place around you, and you can celebrate yourself in the process! You deserve it. Giving yourself a healthy mind and body is the best thing that you can do for yourself, as a leader and as a human being.

The meaning of life is not celebrating your birth, it is celebrating your work.

Amit Kalantri


To improve performance, you need to take the time to recognise good work. Even a quick word or written note can mean a lot. A good leader values the people around him or her, and rewarding effort is a great way to show your appreciation. Leadership models and programs such as the i4 Neuroleader can give you the tools you need to become a more empathetic and resourceful leader.

Neuroscience has shown that our brains need a break every so often, and a celebration offers a perfect opportunity to ensure mental readiness and a healthy mind. You can’t be at 100% every second of every day--and neither can the people you work with. Taking the time to nurture a relaxed, creative office environment will only pay off in the future. So, kick off your shoes and celebrate!

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Armenta-Hernández, O. D., Maldonado-Macías, A., García-Alcaraz, J., Avelar-Sosa, L., Realyvasquez-Vargas, A., Serrano-Rosa, M. A. (2018). Relationship between Burnout and Body Mass Index in Senior and Middle Managers from the Mexican Manufacturing Industry.International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15 (3), 541.

Silvia Damiano

Silvia Damiano

Scientist, educator, author, speaker, coach, award-winning leadership specialist and filmmaker. Silvia is the Founder & CEO of the About my Brain Institute, creator of the i4 Neuroleader Model & Methodology, author of ‘Leadership is Upside Down’ and director of the 2018 documentary ‘Make Me A Leader’.

Silvia is passionate about leaving a legacy of well-rounded leaders who can act and decide in a way that better serves humanity. Her clients include Microsoft, Australian Stock Exchange, NSW Government, VISA, Fuji Xerox and Manpower amongst many other global companies.

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