Celebrating company and individual victories calls for respect of the emotional power such events have on humans because therein is a dark side. A Silicon Valley therapist friend of mine says “The end result can be grandiosity, narcissism and egocentrism.”
Victory celebration extremes have lead many founders and startup executives to trip and make bad out of something good. Balance is wiser, contributing to enjoyment of the moment and creating a fond memory. For founder CEOs, respect for maintaining balance when celebrating victories leads to leaving a positive legacy.
Going whole hog celebrating can push people over dangerous limits. Stars from Hollywood, music and sports know what that means, the tabloids thrive on those stories.
- I recall a revered techie shouting “Free at last!” after he declared to his founding team “I’m joining you and divorcing my wife!”
- I was in the neighborhood when an entrepreneur and president went celebrating his company’s IPO by roaring around in his Ferrari: he crashed and died.
- And I’ve the witnessed the abundant new wealth that led to foolish investment decisions that ended badly for early employees of startups that became famous. Some went into personal bankruptcy and never recovered.
- Family therapists warn about success leading to divorces of spouses and social groups. “Time to get that trophy wife and dump loser friends.”
- More than once I’ve listened to stories of celebrations followed by the purchases of mansions, yachts, exotic sports cars and personal jets. I watched locally as one co-founder drifted off to divorce and a life of loneliness, emailing and texting people to join him to fly on his jet to London for a week of fun.
- And I vividly recall a friend tell me about an acquaintance who cashed in his vast IPO winnings and decided to live the rest of his life on cocaine. Others headed for gambling and sex.
Yes, that’s there is a dark side to victory celebrations. But that does not have to be, there is a very positive outcome open to all.
I wish you The Best on your Adventure!