As managers, we are often focused on the failures in our work. Rarely do we take time to accept successes as they are often hidden by the shadows of other ongoing efforts. Authors Jock Willinick & Leif Babin (two former Navy SEALs), summarize in their book "Extreme Ownership," that the credit for success belongs to the team and the blame for the failure belongs to the leader (in our case the manager). This is true, and we should accept that. However, we are also people and Maslow's Hierarchy applies to us as well. Receiving recognition can be beneficial and motivational to our mental state.
A byproduct of establishing measurable goals and using instruments to monitor progress is the ability to realize when a success has occurred. Did sales revenue hit a certain level? Did we reduce expenses to hit a net margin on a product? Did someone demonstrate our culture at work to a point that it was recognized by our customers? We only know that, if we have established the finish line for the race.
To clarify, I am not suggesting we hand out blue ribbons and certificates for kindergarten graduation. Excessive celebration desensitizes us to the feelings of a true win. So, my recommendation is to:
1. Set HIGH Goals (Attainable, but HIGH).
2. Make sure there is a quantifiable measurement associated with the goal, so you know when you get there.
3. Celebrate success. Maybe it is a walk around the block. Maybe it is an afternoon nap. Maybe it is taking your team to lunch and crediting them with the success (while holding a moment of time to remember that you are part of the team).