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Celebrating Success at Work: What’s Your One Shining Moment?

Celebrating success at work _ Red Cape Revolution

If you’re a US college basketball fan, you’ve no doubt heard the song One Shining Moment.

It’s traditionally played at the end of the NCAA tournaments, accompanied by action-packed and emotion-filled clips of the competition’s players, coaches, and fans.

“That one shining moment, you reached for the sky–
One shining moment, you knew–
One shining moment, you were willing to try. . .”

Words & Music: David Barrett, Hodges Song Supply/ASCAP | Never heard it?

Heck, my eyes are tearing up just thinking about it.

It’s a heart-wrencher, all about inspired work, inevitable failure, and hard-won success.

Yup—that’s how they celebrate success in college basketball.

But how are you celebrating success at work?

You and I do inspired work, have inevitable failure, and experience hard-won success in our lives, too.

But no one plays “One Shining Moment” in my office.

Yours? Hmm. I didn’t think so.

Maybe they should.

‘Cause here’s what I know from talking to my coaching clients and high performing professionals all over the world:

We need to be celebrating success more often, more openly, and with more confidence than ever.

Why We Avoid Celebrating Success at Work

My bet is that you’ve recently had one —or many—shining moments.

But you may not have recognized them.

And you probably didn’t celebrate them.


My guess is that you didn’t celebrate because you needed to move on to the next thing.

You checked the “done” item off your “do” list, and set your focus forward.

We’re painfully aware of what’s left to do.

But focusing on the undone gets in our way of celebrating the “done”—the thing that needs appreciation, attention, and celebration right now.

And if you’re not noticing and celebrating all the good things happening, how do we expect to inspire more good things to come?

It’s Time to Revisit Our Ideas About Celebrating Success at Work

So what if you tried something different?

Let’s try an experiment.

What if, instead of taking every day’s success for granted, you took a closer look at what success in your workday really looks like?

What if you started openly celebrating things like these:

  • The meeting where you made a useful comment on a new idea or project;
  • Getting the project plan started even though you don’t have all the steps in place yet (starting is always worth celebrating);
  • Scheduling the tough conversation with your boss, colleague, client that you know you need to have;
  • Turning away from your computer and phone and giving your colleague your full attention when they needed your help;
  • Reminding yourself about your longer-term health goals, and passing up the workplace candy bowl/birthday cake/happy hour to keep on your fitness path;
  • Not losing your cool when your client reschedules the meeting—again;
  • Making a hard decision about how to streamline your priorities (help here)
  • Delivering the work you promised exactly as you promised (psst–not everyone does this);
  • Starting to network while you work so you can keep up with what’s happening in your industry, profession, or community;
  • Smiling and sending positive energy to people you see wherever you are—the mailroom, the airport, the parking lot, etc.

What might change in your workplace or even in your own mindset at work if you gave yourself a little pat on the back for the simple things as well as the major accomplishments?

The reality is that more everyday wins = more success and happiness at work.

It’s the little things that all add up to creating a great workplace where you–and others you lead and inspire–can bring their superpowers to work.

What are your shining moments today? It’s time to start singing now.

Read this next:

How to Show More Appreciation at Work: The Leader’s Primer

Are You Celebrating Enough at Work? Five Things to Start