Why Not Celebrate Like American Hustle?

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I’m biased, but when American HUSTLE came out, I had a near Pavlovian response to rush out and see it.

I laugh VERY hard every time I watch the 1 minute celebration scene from American Hustle.

The scene makes me wonder:

  • Why don’t companies have a “explosion” of energy after achieving goals, no matter how big or small?

  • Why do people take themselves so seriously?

  • Is “Making fun” of someone appropriate, or has no place in the workplace?  Or is it context dependent?

  • Is it OK to push the envelope on celebrating?

Regardless of where you stand on appropriateness…..

Teams that have this type of energy, work towards achieving goals, and then celebrating with viogr will always outperform those lower on the drive/celebration scale.  

In the journey of life, enjoying the ride should be mandatory.  

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  1. Hi Mark,

    It was very nice to meet you in Seattle and I must say I have really enjoyed reading your blogs ever since.

    In regards to this topic, I think if your team is not celebrating achievements, it really says a lot about the individuals on the team OR the management of the team.

    From my past experiences, I find that people who are not team-oriented are usually the ones that don’t celebrate with the team as their goal is for personal achievement which often do not tie in with the group’s goal. They are also the ones that usually have the attitude of taking themselves too seriously.

    I also find that a lot of the times, management and team structure can play a big role in how every member of the team gets vested into a project or initiative. If you have a structure where a group supports just one or a few decision-makers without any input or stake of their own, then only the decision makers will truly care about the end result while the rest of group works only to not fail or barely get the job done. If you have a team where everyone contributes and they have invested their time and efforts into the project, you should expect the roof to blow off every time as everyone has put in their blood, sweat, and tears for the same goal. I think the key for management is to get their group invested into the project.

    I 100% agree with you that teams who show more energy and passion to achieve a goals will more often then not outperform lower drive/energy teams. I think a group celebration is the end result of getting every member to buy into the goal and then achieving it.

    Lastly, I personally don’t have issues with “making fun” of someone or excessive celebration as long as it’s not inappropriate and doesn’t tow the line of being disrespectable. However, in today’s world, it’s hard to manage the fine line between friendly banter and disrespectful taunting.

    Anyway, that was my 2 cents for this topic and again, it was a pleasure meeting you. Thanks!


    • Won,
      It was fantastic meeting you as well! Thanks so much for your thoughts on team celebration, I couldn’t agree more. It is true that there is a very fine line that can be crossed, but if given a choice between celebrating achievements proudly and playing it safe, not celebrating in fear of that line…….I’ll CELEBRATE with vigor any day. Thanks and look forward to your future thoughts here on Hustle or Bust!

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