Karin’s Leadership Articles

Confident, humble leaders take a moment to privately applaud themselves. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a mini-timeout to tell yourself “Wow! Great job,” particularly for the incremental baby steps that change the game. Privately applauding yourself is vital if others aren’t looking at or caring about your greater mission.

One of the great joys of my new journey is that I get to meet so many kindred spirits from all over the world. I’m honing my “confident-humility” radar-detection system. I’m pleased to introduce Roberto Martinez from Bogota, Columbia to you through his guest post and short video interview.

I met Roberto after a speech I gave at the National Speaker Association’s Business Accelerator Lab.  He’s a doctor, a musician, a teacher, a speaker, a husband and father doing important work. You have to pull all of that out of him, though, because mostly he’s a humble man working to inspire good where it needs to happen most.

I was inspired by his thinking on taking time to “applaud yourself.” (Watch the video to hear more.)

See my interview with Roberto here. 

Roberto Martinez’s Thinking on Applauding Yourself

Some time ago a friend of mine asked me how to stay true to your journey toward fulfilling your dreams.  After all, it’s hard. There are competing pressures. Here’s my best thinking for the LGL community.

  1. Link to Passion:  Be sure that what you’re doing is connected to your passion and to your greatest purpose in life. It is not about “the what”… it is about the “why” and “the what for.”
  2. Don’t Think Small: The key is to verify that you are not doing what you want for a small reason. As I told my friend, make sure you are walking up that road not only to pay the rent, or to be able to go to the movies after you paid the bills of the month, but to create something really great. Something that counts for many and helps many people around you,while you are in the process. Your true passion is that thing that will get you out of your bed every morning full of energy and with a big smile in your face!
  3. Bring Optimism:  You have to mix that passion and intention with optimism, so you can ignite persistence. Remember that real optimism is not about being always happy, or never finding a bump in the road. It is about having confidence that sooner or later you will reach all your goals, even if you don’t necessarily know at present how you will accomplish them. If you persist in the intention and do the homework, you will find the way and you will meet the right people to overcome the barriers.
  4. Applaud Yourself: Celebrate the small victories that you have along the way. Usually people throw big parties, receptions and celebrations when they accomplish great steps, but you know what? You do not have to celebrate these great victories! Other people will celebrate them for you.  The ones that you have to celebrate are precisely the small ones. Those that nobody know about but you. Those victories that in the bottom of your heart you truly know they were very hard to gain, but you did it. Those victories will give you the confidence and the strength to continue when everything seems uphill.
  5. Be Aware of Your Legacy:  Make sure you are going accompanied in the road. Whose life is easier down the road as a result of your efforts? This is certainly one of the steps that creates the greatest commitment to your vision because is no longer just about you– it is about them.
  6. Enjoy the Journey: At the end of the day, it is not so much about the goal itself… it is about the type of person that you will become as you pursue the goal.

The synergy of these six steps will inspire you, and others, to support your vision.

I would love to hear your insights and thoughts. Feel free to reach out. [email protected]

Visit Roberto’s site rmleadinglife.com or find him on Facebook, or Twitter @rm_leadinglife

Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt helps human-centered leaders resolve workplace ambiguity and chaos, so that they can drive innovation, productivity and revenue without burning out employees. She’s the founder and CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, an international leadership development and training firm known for practical tools and leadership development programs that stick. She’s the award-winning author of four books including Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates and Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul and a hosts the popular Asking For a Friend Vlog on LinkedIn. A former Verizon Wireless executive, Karin was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of great leadership speakers. Karin and her husband and business partner, David Dye, are committed to their philanthropic initiative, Winning Wells – building clean water wells for the people of Cambodia.


  1. bill holston

    One of my former law partners gave me great very simple advice years ago: Keep your eye on the ball.
    What is the ball? For us it’s providing free legal services to immigrant survivors of violence. We keep that mission front and center in our thoughts.

    Another really important component for me is solitude. I have to find time for quiet reflection, so I can revisit those essential truths that guide me daily.

    • Karin Hurt

      Bill, Great advice for staying true to your mission. Thank you!

  2. Terri Klass

    I am with you Karin on following work that gives us meaning as well as finding meaning in the work we are presently involved.

    I think when we are willing to step outside of our comfort zone to question ourself on what really matters to us, we begin the journey of discovering our passions. I took that risk years ago and said goodbye to a financial career to follow a more meaningful career in corporate training. Other people thought I was nuts, but I knew where I could make a difference and addition bring purpose to my life.

    Great post and love the idea of applauding ourselves!

    • Karin Hurt

      Terri, Thanks so much. There is wonderful applause in doing what we love.

  3. Steve Borek

    I’m always asking clients how they’re going to celebrate a win. Many are surprised by this question.

    Once I asked a client how she’d celebrate a special moment. “Don’t go out and buy a Benz or anything like that.” We both laughed.

    The following week she came to our call. “So, how did you celebrate?” I asked. “I leased a Mercedes Benz.”

    True story.

    • Karin Hurt

      LOL. Yikes Steve… your coaching could get expensive 😉

  4. LaRae Quy

    Great interview, Karin! You looked as though you were really enjoying yourself 🙂

    I don’t think we can truly come into our own as leaders or professionals unless we not only love what we’re doing, but feel it is giving us meaning and value. It’s just not enough to love to do something—I love the beach but it’s not somewhere I’d like to spend 8 hours a day…

    Once we feel that we are involved in something truly meaningful, we will be fulfilling our dreams 🙂

    • Karin Hurt

      LaRae, indeed I was. I love meeting people committed to making a difference. I’m with you. The beach is over-rated 😉

  5. Kartic

    Celebrating small victories is a great insight and takeaway. Definitely there are small wins every day.

    • Karin Hurt

      Kartic, Great to have you joining the conversation. Bring on the small wins that add up.

  6. Alli Polin

    Love the video and the concept of applauding yourself! Why wait for someone else to pat you on the back and validate your good work? I often tell my clients when you’re proud of what you’ve accomplished, take a beat to celebrate and acknowledge the success instead of simply moving forward to the next big thing. There’s something to be said for appreciating the moment.

    • Karin Hurt

      Thanks, Alli. “taking a beat” is such a great way to think of it.

  7. Mike

    A little late, as I just read this article.

    Great, great article. I’ll make a long story short. I work full-time+ in technology, I own a swimming pool service and maintenance business, I referee high school football in TX, I am CYO President at church and CYO Zone Vice-President helping 19 parishes.

    It is SO easy to “keep on truckin” without noting, then celebrating, the accomplishments along the way. I will use this along with ‘Year in Review’ article that led me here to help those I’m in contact with better understand what they want, where they’ve been, where they’re going and ALL the accomplishments along the way.


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