Celebrate your Successes

By Tricia Malloy

Before embarking on a new project, take time to reflect on the one you just completed. Why? Because you’re much more likely to be focused and confident that you can achieve new goals when you first acknowledge and celebrate your past accomplishments. Few of us take the time to do that.

Start by writing numbers one through 20 down the left margin of your paper. This way you’ll list at least 20 successes. More is even better. Consider what you’re most proud of, such as that you were on time and within budget or that team members went out of their way to support each other. Perhaps your project was highlighted in your company’s annual report or attributed to a 20 percent increase in revenues or a 40 percent decrease in expenses.

Then, go deeper to the lessons learned and gifts that come from disappointments and setbacks. This might include the vendor you chose that didn’t work out. What were the “red flags” or “gut feelings” you ignored that will guide you next time? Or it could simply be the way you communicated objectives to your team that were misinterpreted. Now you know that following up your verbal instructions with written ones and updating those each week will avoid misunderstandings next time. You get the idea.

Once your list is complete, share it with your team members and encourage them to make their own list. Celebrate all you’ve accomplished—the things that went right and the mistakes that made you a wiser project manager.  Now you’re ready to begin planning your next successful project!

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