Be Proud, Celebrate! – Leadership is a Choice #3

Jessica Soroky continues her series Leadership is a Choice.

A booming voice calls out, “Judy, you’re the next contestant on the Price is Right!”

The crowd goes crazy as the camera guys all search for Judy to pop up out of her chair. As she makes her way down the stairs she can barely contain her excitement, jumping up and down and screaming as if someone just gave her a billion dollars – tax free!

On the set of The Price is Right this is normal behavior,  audience members are actually encouraged to do so before the show begins. What if this was the norm at work? What if a co-worker who just solved a problem, or got a complicated section of code to work just jumped from their chair and began celebrating, and I mean really celebrating, their win?

Do you think Steven Hawking ever got so excited, so full of pride for the work he did proving and then disproving his theories that he just couldn’t contain it anymore? How about another Steve? Do you think Jobs ever truly realized the impact he was having on the world and was so overwhelmed he had to let it out?

You may be wondering what has me thinking about all of this. It comes back to the concept of claiming our wins. Working with a team recently, someone asked where the line was between claiming a win and just being boastful of ones accomplishments.  I had never even considered claiming a win being taken as something other than positive.

The team member followed up with another question, “Come on – how full of yourself does one have to be to want or need to ‘claim wins’ publicly every day?”

I really had to think about this. Shame began to creep over me, was I just looking to boast or get external validation when I claimed a win? I wanted to process this more.

It was later that afternoon that I got news of a huge intention met, the offer I had submitted for my first ever condo was accepted. I felt like the big booming voice had just called my name and Drew Carey was waiting for me on stage. A rush of emotions came all at once from sheer terror, holy crap I am a homeowner now, to extreme happiness and pride on a level I had never felt before.


This level of self-sustainability and independence is something I had dreamed of and worked for for as long as I can remember. I had to tell someone, I couldn’t contain it any longer. I called my mom and was talking so fast from excitement I still wonder how she even understood me. I finally took a breath and paused to take in the moment and really appreciate my mom’s well wishes and congratulations.

It was while she was asking me questions about the details, and as I began to run the numbers for the 100th time in my head that I began to notice a familiar feeling creep over me. Was I too excited? The team member’s comment rang in my head, was I claiming a win or being boastful? Pride is a sin after all.

Hello shame, I must say it’s not all that nice to see you again. 

Sitting in my car, my mom’s voice still coming through the Bluetooth, I literally shook my head side to side trying to shake away the shame that just hit me like a ton of bricks. Why has society trained or programmed us to feel awkward or bad about being proud of ourselves and our accomplishments? Why is it deemed as egotistical, boastful, sinful, or just plain rubbing it in?

Then it hit me, why was I choosing to let society’s programming be a factor in this moment?

This was my moment, something I had worked for since I would shovel driveways for a few dollars on my snow days. This is an intention that I could barely even believe I had pulled off but I did! I think the more exciting part of this moment was, for the first time, I really recognized growth in myself. I recognized the shame and instead of beating myself up for being under the line, I made a choice.

Today I choose to celebrate, to scream from the rooftops, to dance my way to the stage.

Today I choose to not go to shame.

Today I choose to not use my programming as justification to not feel happy.

You don’t have to be a contestant on a game show, a world famous physicist, or one of the greatest innovators of our time to warrant celebrating your win however you deem fit.

It was this choice to celebrate that created a critical mass for me. I embraced the way I was feeling after meeting such an important intention and used that momentum to go even harder after the next thing. The first win led to another win at work, and then that win led to a personal breakthrough in mastery, which led to one of the most powerful and free weeks I have ever had.

So to the team member who wonders if claiming wins is more boastful than anything, I say yes it is. However, it isn’t the boastful that has a negative connotation. It is a chance to create your own momentum, to be publicly proud and celebrate! To anyone who is around when someone claims a win, contribute by celebrating with them. Be the big voice that calls them to the stage!

I sit here now just writing about it and the butterflies in my stomach begin to take over again. I can feel my arms tingle with joy and power, ready to take on the day. I can only assume this is how it feels to really be free, powerful, and at choice.

What wins do you want to celebrate today?



Jessica Soroky, CSM

IMG_3285Jessica is a Certified Scrum Master with over three years of practice in agile delivery and seven years of team leadership. She is also the youngest participant in The Leadership Gift™ Program and its growing worldwide community of leaders and coaches. After five years of non-profit development through Nellie’s Catwalk for Kids, Jessica continues her leadership journey in state government, not-for-profit, and private sector leadership studies.


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Posted in Responsibility on 03/09/2015 01:56 am
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