Celebrating Success in a Cubicle

By Scot Herrick | Job Performance

Apr 09

Over the last week, I’ve been having this good discussion (via e-mail and the Internet; disjointed as those types of discussions are) with Dr. Hal over at the North Star Mental Fitness blog.

It all started when I left this comment on Dr. Hal’s post about Florida’s basketball team celebrating the moment. My comment was that business is not like sports as there is no off-season, no time to recover and sports teams are able to turn over all of their players on the team. You’ve seen some of these posts here.

But Dr. Hal’s point is valid: we need to celebrate successes in our work or the work simply becomes boring, robotic, and symbolic of Apple’s “1984” commercial that seems to be having a renaissance.
The question is: How can you celebrate success when we have a hard time seeing over the cube we work in?

Today, Dr. Hal provided a good answer for me in his post “Working and Celebrating Success in a Cubicle.” Read the entire post, but the quick summary is that Cubicle Warriors should employ a technique called “The Power Choice” and is a three step process to celebrate your wins:

  1. Set goals for yourself. You can set these daily, or hourly, or (in my opinion) even more often in really hectic times. While being flexible in the goal-setting based upon changed circumstances during the day, having the goal provides focus.
  2. Achieve the goal(s). Having goals is one thing, achieving them is another. This is why you break the goals down into the appropriate time frame. If you only have one goal for the day (hour, quarter-hour), you will have a better chance of achieving it.
  3. Celebrate success. Dr. Hal notes: “You do not evaluate yourself on the basis of other’s judgments on the amount of work produced. Instead you evaluate yourself on the completion of your goals.”

This is really good advice.

I like the fact that you, as an individual, are setting your own goals for the time frame you set rather than being dictated to by circumstances at work. This gives you the power to create them and achieve them through your own ability. Having any control at all over your situation makes a tremendous difference in your ability to perform, whether it be at work or at home.

Of course, talk is cheap. Without achieving the goal, there is no satisfaction. Accomplishment is an extraordinary confidence builder. This is the reason teams try and achieve small wins, especially early, because of the confidence it builds in the process. The great thing about daily goal(s) is that the time frame is short enough that the probability of the goal being achieved is higher. The more goals accomplished over a period of time, the more the confidence and sense of accomplishment you will have.

And I like the approach of celebrating success — not as whooping it up over some corporate achievement — but you accomplishing what you set out to do in establishing and accomplishing your goal. Personal confidence in our own abilities is critical for achieving success in any venue.

Dr. Hal’s advice on celebrating our success is one of the few approaches that I think can help increase our personal satisfaction with our work. And for 40-million knowledge workers across the planet, that’s good news.

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About the Author

Scot Herrick is the author of “I’ve Landed My Dream Job–Now What???” and owner of Cube Rules, LLC. Scot has a long history of management and individual contribution in multiple Fortune 100 corporations.