When is the Last Time Your Team Celebrated?

My wife and I were doing some spring cleaning not long ago. I have been doing my best to de-clutter and I came across some items from my childhood. I specifically came across some “game balls” that were awarded to me following my exploits as a little league baseball player. While I discarded some 40 year old trophies that represented my participation on winning teams, I could not discard the “game balls.” They represented impromptu gifts given by coaches in appreciation for my accomplishments during particular games. In one of the games I drove in the tying run and scored the winning run during the last inning.  In another, I pitched a one-hit shut-out.  There was one more and I cannot recall the occasion for which it was given to me. Notice that I do not have dozens of these “game balls” but only three. It is amazing how much pride I felt in receiving those simple acknowledgments that are still with me four decades later.
I want you to take a moment to think about the team or teams that you lead or that you serve on. I trust you are doing great work and God is blessing in many ways in spite of challenges that you likely face. Have you celebrated lately? I want to speak especially to those of you who lead teams. Are you celebrating with your team on occasion? Do you give tangible gifts and reminders of appreciation and rewards? It does not take great resources to do this although sacrificial gifts are certainly appreciated. You can give a card with a personal note, pick up the appetizer or dessert at lunch, or surprise someone with decorations or a surprise in their office environment. The possibilities are limitless and the impact can be long lasting. People get weary, discouraged, and sometimes worrisome as they conduct day to day tasks. Celebration elevates the morale of your team and can provide a boost to get them through the day, a week, a month, or even a fond memory that emerges years later. John G. Miller says that “outstanding organizations celebrate victories.” When is your  next celebration going to take place?
Adapted from Chapter Nineteen of John G. Millers; Outstanding; 47 Ways to Make Your Organization Exceptional