Last week a story went viral that really stuck with me. Kayla Willis, an African American high school senior in Atlanta, was accepted into 31 colleges and universities and offered more than $1 million in total scholarship funds. She tweeted a photo of the hallway where everyone in her class displayed their college acceptances, and her section of the hall clearly stood out. You have to see it.
As noted in the tweet, she was hesitant to publish it at all. Kayla’s father pushed back on that because “the whole world needs to know how great [she is].” As a father, I can only image how I’ll feel the day my children receive their college acceptance letters. Their achievements will be my achievements, and I’ll certainly encourage them to not be reluctant in celebrating them.
It’s critical that we celebrate wins both big and small. Whether you are affected by it or not, we are living in a culture of stress, and the narrative often centers on the constant pursuit of mitigating it. Especially in business, celebration begets confidence, and confidence almost always protects against stress and promotes focus. Effective leaders inspire confidence, fathers should strive to instill confidence. Our clients look to us as experts, and make no mistake, experts absolutely must hold confidence. In the end, the more we can celebrate each other’s wins, the more confidence we’ll have to be successful. Then we can go home and do what’s really important, help our kids do the same.