COACHable/ Three Daily Wins


Manila, 16 May 2018 — Are you giving yourself permission to celebrate results every day? Here is why it matters and how to get started.

A privilege I enjoy is to coach leaders who set ambitious objectives for their growth and who stretch themselves for days, weeks, and months for the results they want to achieve. There is no doubt that this is a struggle. So how do they do it, and how do they keep going? 

One of their secrets is to learn how to celebrate results each day. 

Years ago, I discovered this for myself when I studied the work of several researchers in the field of productivity and motivation, including Teresa Amabile at Harvard, Liz Wiseman at Oracle, and J.D. Meier at Microsoft. 

Amabile's research in companies showed that the most powerful motivator for most people at work is, simply, to keep making progress to the goals they want to achieve. What matters is if they become a catalyst or an inhibitor—to themselves and others—for making progress. One of the best ways to become a catalyst, Amabile found, is to celebrate when progress is made, even when it happens in small steps.

In her research at Oracle, Wiseman discovered similar findings, noting how successful leaders are those who allow people around them to become smarter. Simply put, this led her to distinguish between people's attitudes according to whether they behave as a multiplier or as a diminisher.

For his part, Meier's experiences at Microsoft led him to recognize the importance of focusing on a limited number of results at a time—rather than become overwhelmed by massive to-do lists. WIth the 'power of three' in mind, Meier developed an agile approach to creating results for work and life, grounded in his understanding that people will be more successful and fulfilled when they make small amounts of progress for a significant outcome every day.

Meier referred to his recommended practice as achieving daily wins, and he recommended going for three wins each day—and to apply the same approach for each week, month, and year.

Building on the research by Amabile, Wiseman, and Meier, I came to realize how important it is for leaders to nurture a mindset and practice of achieving and celebrating progress every day, as this will make it easier to be highly motivated for the next day, and then the next, and so on. The practice allows leaders to become catalysts and multipliers of progress and achievement, for themselves and others around them.

How about you? Are you giving yourself opportunities to celebrate making progress every day in the form of three daily wins?

Do people know you as a catalyst and a multiplier to support people around you? Or, are you holding yourself and others back by your limiting beliefs, so that you become known as an inhibitor and a diminisher?

Why not set yourself up for a great day tomorrow by identifying three results you want to achieve, and thereby give yourself three good reasons to celebrate tomorrow evening? And then reflect on your experience and turn it into a new habit?

As you start your day, choose three results you want to achieve. When you accomplish them, you have three wins to celebrate in the evening and more motivation for tomorrow.
— Coach Wouter