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Celebrating Small Wins For Success

mark Mckoy2

People know me for athletics and training. However, I’ve recently cut back dramatically on training to focus on a new career in the corporate incentives market. Why, you ask?


My passion and purpose is not just to be the best I could be in athletics but to motivate and inspire people to be the best they can be. Most people aren’t interested in that. Most people go through life being average or mediocre. That’s OK, but it isn’t what I want. I want to surround myself with winners. People that are driven and want to have an impact.


In my training session this morning with my good friend Arlene Dickinson, it was uncanny that she brought up exactly what I talked about in my recent post on“The Science of Motivation.” In sports, just like in business, it’s important to celebrate the small wins. It’s the small things in life that have the biggest impact. Everyone is looking for the big win, not realizing that big wins come from the accumulation of small wins. Arlene has recently started a series of posts on being kind everyday. Just a little act of kindness everyday can have a great impact. Not only to others but also to yourself. That’s one way to achieve small victories, and small victories matter.


Not all victories need to be large to make an impact. Small wins on a daily basis lead to big wins in the long term. Case in point, the world of athletics is a world filled mostly with failure. Even the best baseball players in the world fail 70 percent of the time. The ability to shrug it off, get back up, and give it another shot is the mark of a true champion. The key to success, whether it be in sport, business, or life in general, is to focus on the little victories, the “Small Wins.”


When lining up for the finals of the 110 metres hurdles at the 1992 Olympic Games, commentary started by mentioning that I was, and I quote, “Tabbed the perennial also-ran.” The commentators went on to mention how many fourth-place finishes I had had in major championships over the years. Basically, they were calling me a loser. It’s just a part of sport, business, and life. The sooner you get used to it, the better you will become.


With the proper, positive mindset, the small victories become just that much sweeter, feel better, and motivate you all the more. My first small win came way, way back when I first started to hurdle. Always being beaten in the sprint events I was directed by my high school coach to try hurdles. After months of bloody knees and ankles, hard work and perseverance drove me to a city, provincial, and finally national championship.


Winning gold doesn’t come overnight, and the same is true in business. After 16 years of hard work, dedication, and patience, I was standing on the top of the world stage, with a gold medal hanging around my neck.


The idea of recognizing small victories and accomplishments can also have a dramatic effect on the success of your business. A 2017 Gallup research survey discovered that “Employees who feel adequately recognized are half as likely as those who don’t to say they’ll quit in the next year.” 85 percent of employees are “not engaged or are actively disengaged at work.” 85 percent! The financial effect of this is absolutely massive: “The economic consequences of this global “norm” are approximately $7 trillion in lost productivity.”


Recognition and rewards work, and the stats back me up. According to “Leadership That Gets Results,” an article by the Harvard Business Review, the use of rewards was the single highest predictor of “organizational climate,” which in turn had a direct correlation with financial results. Organizations with higher than average levels of engagement realized 27 percent higher profits, 50 percent higher sales, 50 percent higher customer loyalty levels, and 38 percent above-average productivity.


Celebrate the small wins! Recognizing employees and celebrating their small victories can help you reach larger goals.


So we know that recognizing small wins can make a big deal, but HOW exactly do we reward and recognize these small accomplishments? In my next upcoming post, I’ll show you eight different ways to recognize small accomplishments.


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