Jessica Soroky Guest Post #15: Why I Claim Wins

Why I Claim Wins

Claiming wins for me started as a cheesy icebreaker for a team ceremony. But over time, with practice and application, it has become one of the most powerful things I have learned from my personal leadership studies.

I used to always focus on the future, thinking how amazing it would be when I could celebrate reaching the goal I was aiming for. I did the exact same thing when I joined The Leadership Gift™ Program.

I remember thinking that I couldn’t wait until I could say that I had gone through all the core modules and could claim the accreditation of apprentice.

That’s also how I approached going to school – I couldn’t wait to graduate college and to be able to put the books down. The same thing goes for whichever certification was next on my list, and most of all I used to wish for the day I was 10 years older so I could celebrate not having to battle against my age, since I’m often the youngest in any given situation.

My mother used to tell me I was wishing away my life, and my mentor would say I’m always looking for what’s next. He told me countless times that I was passing up wins.

It took a few “Well, sh*t” moments and breakthroughs to get to the realization that focusing so much of my attention on the goal made it nearly impossible to be in the present and to claim my current wins.

This is not a mind-blowing discovery, but it was a life-altering breakthrough for me personally that I couldn’t see until I was ready for it.

A participant on the latest Application Mastery call helped me remember this realization. I sat in a conference room, listening as Christopher worked with one member on a problem she was facing. At the end of the conversation the caller acknowledged the program and some of the other members before saying, “I can’t wait to see where I am in six months.”

I instantly knew what she was feeling — it’s what I used to do when I was so excited about the future that it clouded my present.

When I was focused on the potential win, I found myself exhausted all the time, never getting enough sleep and always feeling unfinished. Over time the mental state of “Quit” became more and more appealing.

Our teams experience the same thing.

How often does a business partner or team member come to a meeting beaten down, and all he can talk about is what is broken or wrong with the project? It kills the meeting instantly.

I decided to implement wins on my teams, starting every meeting or ceremony – including daily stand ups – with wins. Within one sprint (two weeks) the energy of our meetings and the relationship of the members on our team completely changed.

When our business representatives started with talking about wins, the “negatives” weren’t as big of a problem anymore once they got to talk about them.

I started thinking: how many times did my immense focus on a future goal actually cause that goal to not come true?

If I stay present and work on what is to be done in this moment, I can celebrate that win right now and build momentum.

Eventually a path of wins, each one celebrated in their own distinct moment, will cause the milestone.

Just like the change in energy on the team, when I apply this practice myself, my energy changes. I stay in a passionate, powerful, and energetic place. When I claim the win I get closure, and at the end of my day I no longer feel incomplete or that I left things unfinished.

What if you took a few minutes and claimed your current wins, and celebrated who you are right now?

Jessica Soroky, CSM
Only 21 years old, Jessica is already a Certified Scrum Master with two years of practice in agile delivery and 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 Leadership on 12/18/2013 05:17 am
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