DCL 2.5 Instruction | The Celebration Principle

The Celebration Principle: The True Test of Relationships Is Not Only How Loyal We Are When Friends Fail, But How Thrilled We Are When They Succeed.

Video Presentation: John Hull, CEO/President, EQUIP


This principle is sometimes difficult to understand. It seems strange that friends would stick with us in our failures, but abandon us if we are more successful than they are. There is powerful truth in this statement from John Maxwell: “Average people do not want others to go beyond average.” Mediocrity desires company. It wants no one to succeed greatly!

When your friends enjoy great success, can you rejoice and celebrate with them? Do you pray daily for their success? This may well be the greatest relationship test of a leader. How do you learn to celebrate with others who enjoy great success instead of ignoring or even undermining them? Here are some principles to remember:

1.  The joy of an accomplishment is diminished when no one celebrates with you. Add joy by celebrating with others.

2.  People can readily identify with failure, but they sometimes have a hard time connecting with success. If they don’t identify with success, they may resent it.

3.  What hinders people from success often keeps them from celebrating others’ success. People’s weaknesses, such as emotional insecurity, a scarcity mind-set or petty jealousy, prevent them from rejoicing with others.

4.  People who celebrate with you become lifelong friends. There is no friend like a friend who will remain loyal when you surpass his level of success.


Biblical Case Study: King Saul and David (1 Samuel 18: 5-16)

The army of Israel under King Saul cowered in fear of the giant, Goliath. No one, not even the king, would fight Goliath. Up stepped David, the shepherd boy. He courageously, in the name of the Lord God, destroyed the giant! When the army of Israel saw that Goliath was dead, they pursued the Philistines and won a great battle. As Saul and David were returning home from the tremendous victory over the Philistines, the women of the city came out to welcome King Saul. The women danced and sang, saying, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” The Bible records that Saul became very angry because of the words of the women. He was enraged with jealousy.

Saul failed to understand the following key leadership principles:

1.  My success can only be achieved with others.

2.  My weaknesses can only be strengthened by others.

3.  My influence can only be compounded through others.

4.  My legacy can only be left for others.



  • Do you have trouble celebrating the success of others?
  • Can you identify reasons why you hesitate to celebrate the success of others?
  • What would you like to start doing differently to help others celebrate?


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DCL Instruction Media and Notes © EQUIP Million Leaders Mandate Volume 2