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Many years ago, the father of a good friend of mine from high school passed away suddenly. Big Jim as he was known was a great man and his loss was a big hit for their family. Jim’s funeral was held in the same parlor that my grandfather’s was some three decades earlier. On the drive home to Phoenix I commented to my wife Sharon that I didn’t want to be in that building ever again. Too many negative thoughts. It was at that point that she said basically that at our age, we would probably be at more funerals than weddings in the future, so get used to it. A somber but true message. Since that day I have paid attention to how many weddings versus funerals we have attended each year.

This past week one of our team members got married. Congrats Dean! It was a great ceremony with family and friends coming from all over to celebrate with Dean and his new wife. It served as a reminder to me that when there is a time to celebrate, don’t do so sparingly. Share the great joy that a new union provides and be grateful that you have people in your lives that want to share their special day with you. So far this year, weddings 1, funerals 0.

The celebration mentality also carries over to our work lives. Okay, weddings and work are not equally important, but when something awesome happens in our careers or our companies, we should celebrate it. It could be that a major goal was reached, a promotion came, or a big project launched. Whatever it is, don’t gloss it over, shine a light on it. Now, not later.

Okay, time to tie this back to sports…..

When thinking about this on the way home from the wedding, I remembered something we did back when I was running the Denver Sports Commission. We were selected to host the NCAA’s 2008 Frozen Four, the hockey version of basketball’s Final Four. It was a big deal for us and it took years to plan and pull it off successfully. Our Local Organizing Committee (LOC) chairman coined a phrase at one of our first planning sessions. He said, “We are not putting on a hockey event. We are putting on a series of weddings.”

That put an added emphasis on the level of detail we put into every aspect of Frozen Four week. There were press conferences, fan fests, watch parties, youth clinics, a banquet with the four teams, meetings with the NCAA and ESPN, and yes, there were three hockey games. While the national focus was on the hockey games themselves, our team took on every single event like it was its own wedding. Each act was important all unto itself, on the ice and off. We not only broke the revenue record for the event at the time, but we also got high marks from the hockey community for the way our community produced the week of Frozen Four activities. We wouldn’t have done as well as we did, had we not treated each aspect of the week as important as a wedding.

Look at every activity as a wedding. Put effort into the details. And when good things happen, even the little victories in life, celebrate them with those that are important to you.

Have a great week ahead!

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