Short Term Wins

The 8 Step Kotter Model of Change Management is a gold mine of leadership. 

We will address all the Steps, but I am starting at Step 6 because that is what came to me today.

There is value in creating and celebrating short term wins, while on the journey to long term sustainable gains. 

This celebration is not a distraction, it is an enabler of the right behaviors. Winning behaviors. 

Celebrating short term wins, incentivizes winning, and winning is why we are in the game.

Long term gains cannot be reached without short term wins. Why? 

1. Not everyone will reach the long term, but everyone needs to feel it is worth trying.
2. Long term commitment is by itself, hard work.
3. People repeat what is celebrated. Willingly or unwillingly. What people repeat, is culture.

It is thus shocking when I see leaders get scared of celebrating short term wins, using the excuse of maintaining a sense of urgency. I agree, a sense of urgency is always required, but if you get stuck in a sense of urgency, you better be building a Fire Service Department.

As a leader, you cannot afford to always bring, promote and incentivize a “burning platform” syndrome. Sometimes, it is the dance floor that should be burning with the dancing shoes of your team. 

In the long run, the long term goals change.
In the short term, there should be signposts that you are in the right direction.

As you journey along, you are allowed to raise your hands up in a “V” at predetermined signposts and then put them back down and get on the grind.

Create and celebrate short term wins, but don’t let up.

– Osasu Oviawe

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