Thoughts on Leadership: The Importance of Celebration

By Gino Blefari

This week my travels found me in Nashville for the 2020 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Sales Convention. Against the backdrop of a resilient Music City, 6,000 attendees celebrated with colleagues and friends. But more about that later …

Celebration may seem like a respite from the grind of building your business but for leaders seeking perpetual improvement, it’s an important part of growth. Two-time Olympic gold medalist and retired professional soccer player Mia Hamm once said: “Celebrate what you’ve accomplished but raise the bar a little higher each time you succeed.”

In the words of the song that played onstage at Sales Convention, celebration is a way to level up. Each time we celebrate our wins, we recognize where we are and where we want to go.

Celebration is really a key function of effective leadership. When you take time to celebrate success, you’re also creating a mental benchmark. This is what it feels like to celebrate success, you tell your mind. And because it’s such an optimistic and positive feeling, you’ll want to take the necessary actions to recreate it.

There’s even a psychological reason to celebrate. When you exist in the state of celebration, the levels of oxytocin and endorphins—chemicals responsible for happiness—increase. In this happier state of mind, you’re more likely to generate business-building ideas, gain clarity on strategies for success, attain greater focus and feel more motivated and inspired.

According to Psychology Today, “researchers found that by having positive conversations during celebration time, you trigger [the] basal ganglia system that releases the neurotransmitter dopamine.” The release of dopamine then communicates with the brain areas in the prefrontal cortex to “allow people to pay attention to critical tasks [and] ignore distracting information.”

Bottom line: The chemicals released during celebration activate the parts of our brain necessary to generate even more wins.

Sales Convention itself is one big celebration – a celebration of achievement, of knowledge, of connections and of growth. In Nashville we learned in educational sessions – if you’re counting, there were a total of 65 University classes offered and I was honored to teach one of them on getting the life plan you deserve. We also interacted with cutting-edge technology, systems, and vendors at the Exhibitor Hall, while getting local rescue dogs adopted in the process. We shopped, dined and visited iconic Nashville locations, bringing much-needed life and commerce to a community recently hit by devastating tornadoes. We commemorated the achievements of our top producers during our awards ceremonies onstage and in Nashville’s famous honky tonks. We heard about tactics for strengthening client loyalty during Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices CEO Chris Stuart’s keynote and the importance of embracing challenges as opportunities from renowned artist and TED speaker, Phil Hansen. We danced and dined during Monday night’s REVEL Nashville theme party and on Tuesday evening, as Grammy-award-winning country superstars Lady Antebellum performed, we raised a record-breaking $146,000 for the Sunshine Kids.

Overall, LIVE IT 2020 was a three-day celebration of our passion for real estate and commitment to serving people through homeownership.

So, what’s the message? Beyond the science, celebration is fun. And if you’re doing what you love and having fun every day, you’ll naturally work harder, leading your employees with empathy, energy, and enthusiasm. It’s why our team – Denise Doyle, vice president of conference and meeting services and staff working alongside Corporate Magic and Corporate Magic CEO Jim Kirk – puts in the long hours and the months of planning. In the end, it all pays off. Our attendees continually report feeling inspired after leaving Sales Convention. We themed this year’s event LIVE IT and we certainly we did just that. Thanks to all those who attended our 2020 Sales Convention and I’ll see you in Las Vegas next year for yet another unforgettable celebration!

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