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Under Appreciating vs Over Celebrating

Under Appreciating vs Over Celebrating

Why is Tuesday pizza day for Stephen Colbert and his team? And why has it been for a few weeks now?

This time last year, Stephen Colbert’s Late Show was losing to Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show by over a million viewers. However, when Trump became president, something happened for Colbert…there was a turning point for his show.

You can read this recent NY Times article for a hypothesis as to why this happened, but essentially, the turning point was a result of a three-hour heart-to-heart conversation between Colbert and his executive producer, Chris Licht.


“The deal was, he said, ‘Listen, let me make these decisions and don’t try to take them back from me,’” Mr. Colbert remembered. “And I said, ‘OK, well, don’t debate with me what’s funny.’”

So Mr. Colbert focused on the comedy and his performance, and Mr. Licht dealt with management issues that the host had been expending energy on: staffing, budgets, sales meetings, the works. [1]

After that meeting, Colbert started to ease up and focus on the things that came naturally to him. Leaving the rest to others.

Essentially, he became more of who he really was.

So in classic Colbert fashion, he made a deal with his team. Whenever they would beat The Tonight Show in ratings, they’d celebrate with pizza.


But it worked. It changed the atmosphere of the office. And so, as Chad Batka reported in his NY Times article,

Throughout the offices of The Late Show, staff members could be heard saying, “Pizza! Pizza!”—celebrating a reward that comes on Tuesdays when they beat The Tonight Show in the ratings. [2]

In light of the pizza party, here are my questions for you:

  • Does your team have something to look forward to?
  • After your team completes their goals—especially stretch ones—are you taking the time to celebrate?
  • When’s the next time you can use something as simple as a pizza party to bless and celebrate your team?

The fact is, no one can ever feel too appreciated. So it’s always better to over celebrate than under appreciate.

After all, as Patrick Lencioni likes to say, “Nobody ever leaves a company because they were encouraged too much.”

Consider starting today.

This article originally appeared here.