How do you celebrate? Do you have a party? Do you give each other a high five? What does it mean to celebrate excellence?

The secret of joy in work is contained in one word— excellence.
To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.
Pearl Buck

I have had the privilege to learn from many excellent organizations. They all have one striking thing in common. Celebration comes from a place of respect for the work of everyone in the organization. It consists of small acts of gratitude for helping your neighbor.

One of Deming’s Fourteen Points for Management states: “Drive out fear, so everyone may work effectively for the company.”

What a simple concept!

What does driving out fear look like?

Driving out fear begins with a clear mission that I understand and can own.

Our leaders do not just talk about values, they live them.

I can see every day how what they say and do reflects their commitment to excellence.

I never hesitate to speak up because my ideas and thoughts have value.

We continuously improve our work and take pride in the results.

I understand that change is inevitable, but I look for how the change will improve our organization.

What does celebrating excellence look like?

We do not need elaborate celebrations, but we do desperately want to enjoy coming to work. The small gestures of thanks for a job well done or taking the time to acknowledge the contributions of others create moments of celebration. Those moments collectively add up. Excellence has a home where we can celebrate our work and each other.

What if we took the time to celebrate each other? How would that change your family, your work, your community?

And always—

Be kind. Be brave. Be you.