Being outwardly proud of our achievements is not something that comes to us as naturally as our US peers. This might be in part due to the confidence of the American Dream and success being applauded – loudly. Whereas in the UK and Europe, we are accustomed to working hard and “getting on with things” to the point that we don’t shout about small, but magnificent things.
But it is important, and we should find a way to pause and recognise our successes – in a way that is authentic to us. Celebrating progress also makes brilliance more visible. Seeing ‘ordinary’ people doing extraordinary things like innovating and building companies is not only a positive boost for them, but it inspires others to be better, whatever they do. Celebration also demonstrates an acknowledgment of challenges. It highlights development, progress, grit and people’s determination to make a difference.
It can be easy in business to forget there is a person behind every task – particularly in this hybrid working world where we see output rather than who is producing it. Most people give their all at work – whether they are a founder or not. We must remember that so we can give a person the drive to achieve more by shining a light on their efforts and contribution by saying, “well done”.
At Converge, we are looking toward our award ceremony in November. As we prepare to announce the finalists for that event – an initial applicant pool of over 200 whittled down to just 28 – I hope everyone who has been part of the process will celebrate how far they have come throughout their journey this year.
This includes not only our finalists but everyone in the programme. After all, being present in the moment to celebrate before moving on is so important and must be lauded. Our coveted awards ceremony is also an opportunity to recognise the efforts of the universities we work with, where colleagues go the extra mile to help us and the people we serve achieve their goals. It really takes a village to raise entrepreneurs.
If we don’t share the stories of success along the course of the journey, and only focus on the result, we lose the opportunity to show the art of the possible and acknowledge how far we’ve come. Work should be about giving us fulfilment, and not because “we have to”. Recognition must be treated in the same way. Given all we have been through, it’s time we acknowledge the brilliance around us and give credit where it is due – throughout the process and not just with the prize. I am therefore committing to taking that extra five minutes, or a whole evening, to celebrate myself and others – and I hope you will too.
Dr Claudia Cavalluzzo, Executive Director, Converge