Plan During the Celebration or Walk Away From It

In my book “The Business Playbook,” I spoke of the importance of not getting caught up in celebrating after you have achieved temporary success.

The 1980s “Showtime” Los Angeles Lakers team is a perfect example of this. The team won the 1985 NBA title and appeared to be relishing in their victory. Coach Pat Riley recognized a decline in the motivation that the team originally possessed before the win. In Riley’s words “The temptation to slack off starts when you’re feeling good about who you are and what you’ve achieved.”  The following year, the team ended up losing in the playoffs to Houston.

I refused to let myself give into triumph. I remember back in 1999, my staff and I had the best year ever at Steiner Sports.  We had seen quite a spike of success from the previous year with sales doubling and profits increasing four times over!

While everyone else partied, I was thinking about how next year could be even better than this one. I realized simultaneously rejoicing in this year’s success and planning for even more success next year was not possible.

So, I literally left the party, cancelled my vacation and spent time figuring out what to do to make the following year even more of a success.

I have always believed that to stay ahead, you need to develop either one of two things: the ability to plan while you celebrate or the ability to walk away from the celebration before everyone else does.

Are you someone who celebrates right after achieving success or do you take the time to figure out how to be more successful the next time around?


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