Meetings that Can Change Everything Series: Victory Meetings

Can you relate to meeting overload?

One study suggests that managers spend 30% – 40% of their time in meetings! Even more staggering is the fact that much of that meeting time is considered a total waste of time.

In a series of 3 articles, I’m going to talk about meetings that do make a difference. They can change everything – focus, momentum, expectations, and results.

We’ll start with the “Victory Meeting.”

Victory Meetings have been going on in my house for almost twenty years. My son grew up on these Friday evening rallies – for him they are the norm. Fridays just wouldn’t be Fridays in our family without a Victory Meeting.  Of course that hasn’t always been true. I can still remember our first few (mildly embarrassing) attempts.

At my insistence, we had gathered at the refrigerator to declare our successes for the week. To say my son wasn’t fully onboard would be an understatement. “This is so dumb,” he said.

I replied, “Dumb or not, every Friday we will meet here with a list of our achievements and victories for the week. We will celebrate them properly by posting them on the refrigerator. We will then whistle and cheer and clap. The dogs will bark and the neighbors will wish they lived in this happy, happy house filled to the brim with victory. Any questions?”

I can still see his eyes rolling, but he humored me.  So our tradition began. Every Friday evening you would find us at the refrigerator, faithfully reciting our achievements and cheering for each one.

It was a wonderful moment when I realized the Victory Meetings were no longer a “motivational Mom’s requirement.” They had become something more. We looked forward to them; no matter how tough the week or hard the road, we honored our victories by sharing and celebrating them.

Something else happened too. Something profound. The victories became the focus of our conversations and expectations. When we looked at each other we saw winners. We noticed what was right and good and strong about each other.  (That’s powerful, because whatever we look for in each other we certainly will find.)

As the years passed and our schedules became more complicated, we had to get a little creative. A telephone was installed next to the refrigerator in case someone had to take the meeting by phone.  More than once I found myself cheering from an airport or a hotel. Somehow the victory meetings were even more important from the road. These meetings were held no matter where we were. This was a standing appointment that connected us to our goals and aspirations and to each other.

Now my son is all grown up (with a refrigerator of his own) and he still phones on Friday evenings with a list of victories. Apparently, until he has a “team” of his own, he plans on keeping this appointment. That’s just fine with me!

I’ve presented this tool to thousands of people over the years. And the testimonies keep coming. I hear about work teams that are more engaged and cohesive. I hear success stories about family teams too. (Many of them started just like we did with much rolling of the eyes.)

What excuse do you have for not trying them?

They are free. They are simple and it costs nothing to implement. These meetings are a success strategy for work teams and family teams.

Just last week I received an email from someone who attended a workshop many years ago. She took the victory meeting to heart; then she took it home. Faithfully her family has gathered every week for the Victory Meeting. It’s a tradition that encourages the heart, builds the team, and refreshes the spirit.

Here’s to the victories you will bring to the refrigerators of your life!

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Leave A Reply (11 comments So Far)

  • Caroline McIntosh

    LOVE THE VICTORY PARY idea…will do it and pass it on!

  • Bob Burg

    I just learned something about Dondi Scumaci that I didn’t already know. What a GREAT idea! Imagine the families whose lives can be changed for the better (generation to generation) from doing this. WOW!!

  • This strategy is brilliant in its simplicy. Both the mom and boss in me are hip-hip-horaaying this idea.

    I’ll keep you posted on what comes from it … on the other side of those rolling eyes 🙂

  • Mollie I look forward to those “post rolling eyes” updates for sure! Hi Bob! Can’t you just imagine this scene? I do hope Tabor passes this along. Thank you Caroline for spreading the word. I get such great feedback on this simple little tool. It is a team changer.

  • Ava Diamond (@feistywoman)

    I love this idea, Dondi. You so rock!

  • Anonymous

    Kids love parties and celebrations, as do most adults, right? What a great tip, Dondi. Team Mahaffey will implement this. I use ‘Victory Laps’ with my clients with the same end in mind. However, I never thought to do that with my own family. Thx!

  • This might be one of my favorite posts ever. As I’m Looking at my kids’ goal charts sitting on my desk, the victory meetings are exactly what they need to keep moving forward. They are used to my ideas that inspire “eye-rolling” hahahaa. (But remarkably they have grown up so much like me that I have to have the last chuckle.)

  • Gina, goal charts! That is fabulous. The victory meetings will definitely fit right in with your crew. Would love to hear how they go!

  • Ashley, I love the idea of victory laps too! People do love to celebrate (and it’s so natural for children).

    So often when I work with teams they tell me the celebration part has not become a habit. It is possible to check off the task and move onto the next challenge. We need to acknowledge and celebrate the successes! Celebration has no age limit!

  • Thank you Ava! I am thinking you will ROCK this idea. Have a feeling you can take the Victory Meeting to a whole new level. As I scroll down this list of all-star commentors, I am imagining some amazing applications!

  • Roxannsbauerle

    I love this idea! I read this article to my 13 year old boy who said, “Do we really have to do this mom?” To which I replied, “Yes, we will start on Monday!” Can’t wait to report.