The other day I was complimenting a team member on a job well done for a task that he had just completed – I called it a “big win”. He was very appreciative of the commendation, however he laughed, as he though the words “big win” was an exaggeration. This is when I resolved that the next handful of downplayed achievements by the achiever are going to receive unusually large celebration. A little obnoxious…maybe, but fun and encouraging, nonetheless – this is one of those simple pleasures, this is what it’s all about.

A timely smile is simple, it takes hardly any effort, but yet can be a huge win.

The time and effort involved to complete the task I mentioned were relatively small; however, the result was very outwardly visible, provided great convenience and value to others, and saved a lot of people a lot of time and effort – a “big win” from any outside perspective.

Something that may seem small or minor to one person, may not be perceived that way by others. I’m always on the lookout for achievements by others – these come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. We don’t always need to throw a party, but even just simple acknowledgement goes a long way.


Shared Team Values for Support

When you first set out to build a lean, mean productivity machine in the form of a team, start out on the right track. You have a great set of people, a great set of skills, and now they all have to work together. Easy, right?

It is far more efficient to start out on the right foot, than to try and make foundational corrections later on down the road. While not impossible, dealing with this in the future, in an already established team, almost always takes far more time to correct. In the beginning, an observant leader may even be able to identify potential “issues” right up front, and either prevent them from happening in the first place, or at least be better equipped to deal, and not be surprised later on. Take some quality time to get to know each other, and feel out each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

One good policy at the outset would be to immediately establish a set of shared team values in order to support each other. Here are just a few examples:

Open communication

Place a strong emphasis on honesty. Individuals need to know that they are kept in the know as much as possible, and that nothing is a secret. They should be confident that if they ask, they will always get a honest answer from any one of their team mates. They should know that they always have the ability to ask for, and to receive help when needed.

Frequent communication

The more the merrier. Always keep each other informed. No one should ever feel left out. Everyone should be able to answer to any of the actions taken by the team.


Everyone should know that they are a valued and respected member of the team. Their opinions and insights are important. We never want to discourage input – it can lead to not getting it in the future.


We hold ourselves accountable and we hold each other accountable. It just works this way to keep us all going forward. Just remember, everyone has a bad hair day! Stay positive.


Everyone makes mistakes – and it’s always okay, just take ownership, we’ll fix it, we’ll support you, and we’ll move on. Again, stay positive.

The establishment of trust is a very important, and a good set of shared support values are a good way to start out.