May 31, 2022

Leaders Take Time to Celebrate


When was the last time you celebrated something other than a traditional big event? Yes, we take time to celebrate graduations, weddings, birthdays, and retirements. But what about the simple everyday events? Do you take time to celebrate the sunrise or a small act of kindness?

Over the years as a leader, I have learned the value of taking time to celebrate. Taking time to fellowship, laugh, and relax helps build the culture of a community. However, I was not very good at celebrating until I became a Principal.

As a school leader, I had two favorite school year times. First was the beginning of the year. I love the first day of the school year. The atmosphere is filled with multiple conversations and laughter, and the building comes alive with activity.

The first two weeks of school are critical to the school year’s success. During the first two weeks, we establish and set the routines for the school year. Then, over the next ten months, we move through the day with one goal in mind, the last day of school.

The end of the school year is the busiest time of year! It is filled with end-of-year activities, including prom, banquets, awards, and graduation. In addition, staff, students, and families celebrate the last day of school.

While we celebrate the beginning and end of the school year, I learned the importance of taking time to celebrate during the year. During my first year as the Principal, one of my teachers came to see me. It was about 5 PM, and I thought everyone was gone for the day.

I was working on my emails and planning my activities for the next day when my teacher walked into the office. My teacher sat down and said, “we need to celebrate.” I said, “why?” She explained that people are tired and need to be reminded of how much we value and need them.”

When she finished, I gave her a budget and told her to plan something for the end of the quarter for our next faculty meeting. Of course, I didn’t think she was right, but I figured it couldn’t hurt. Well, I have to admit my teacher was right.

After the meeting, I received a lot of positive feedback. Over the next several weeks, I noticed the staff was more upbeat. So, I agreed to celebrate the end of each quarter. In addition, staff satisfaction reached a record high when we conducted our annual culture survey.

As a leader, I’ve learned the value of taking time to celebrate. Yes, it is essential to the significant milestones in our lives. However, we also need to celebrate the simple things we may take for granted. For example, celebrate a warm summer day with your grandchildren or an afternoon of shopping with a friend.

“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.”

-Oprah Winfrey

Tomorrow is a new day, so take the time to celebrate!

Are you taking time to celebrate?


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  • Celebrating small wins promote teamwork, enhance culture and make work life more enjoyable. If you don’t love the work that you do, at least you should have fun doing it.

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    About the author

    I'm Kim, your Educational Leadership Guide. I equip educational leaders with research-based and experientially learned educational leadership principles and best practices to promote student success.