Throughout my years playing baseball, coaches stressed the importance of winning each pitch, winning each at bat and winning each inning to win the game. We constantly broke down the game to focus on each opportunity. The coaches and players knew that if we had enough of these small wins throughout the game, that the score would take care of itself.
For great teams, an amazing culture is built by constantly celebrating the small wins.
If you ever look inside the dugout during a game, you will see players celebrating after each pitch. The great teams aren’t only focused on the outcome of the game, they are focused on the process to get to the outcome.
In the book, You Win in the Locker Room First, Mike Smith shares how his demise as a coach of the Atlanta Falcons came when his team focused solely on winning the Super Bowl.
For his team, it was all about the ultimate outcome of the Super Bowl. The small wins were no longer as important and the celebrations were fewer and far between. It wasn’t about the journey and the process, it was about the one big win.
In business, we share numerous similarities with the sports world. Often, we are focused on the big outcome and not the process in between. It’s about hitting the sales goal, the big launch, or hitting the year end numbers. The small daily victories pale in comparison to the big goals and they are often neglected by leadership.
Employees often feel like they are cogs in the system and the numbers back it up. In Everybody Matters, Bob Chapman shares that 88% of employees feel like they work for a company that doesn’t care about them.
The reason is simple, because employers are focused on their own big goals and not on making recognition and celebration an everyday practice.
As leaders, we need to love the journey and the process. We need to make our people feel appreciated. We need to focus small before we achieve big.
It starts one pitch at a time.
How can you build celebration and recognition into your everyday business?
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