By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy
Here’ s an idea to motivate your staff particularly at the finish of a project.
Pumping my arms and legs for 30 minutes on an elliptical exercise machine, I huffed and puffed my way to the finish line. As I completed my programmed workout, I was exhilarated more than exhausted.
And then elated! Even triumphant.
Especially when the display screen on my Octane Fitness elliptical exercise machine beamed every so authoritatively in three-inch high block letters marching across the display screen:
You Have Been
by Octane Fitness
Yes. Fueled! This was my first time on this elliptical exercise machine. Other exercise machines that I have used before would simply say the program has ended, or your workout is finished or simply cool down. End of project. Go home.
The digital display on the elliptical exercise machine got me to thinking how the most effective leaders I have known focus not only on the planning and the execution of a project, but also on the follow-up– the after action learning, the lessons learned, the experience gained– in successfully completing the mission.
Sometimes– let me very honest here– more times that I would like to admit — I have successfully led my teams to the finish line but then did not do such a good job on the followup. I didn’t champion the effort, I didn’t celebrate the accomplishment. I was too focused on getting the next project launched. I didn’t reiterate how we were going to leverage what we accomplished. I assumed it was understood, a given. Why else would we have embarked on the project in the first place?
The End is The Beginning
But my exercise experience on the elliptical machine gave me a new insight. That the end is not the end, it is only the beginning of your NEXT accomplishment.
My first encounter with the Octane Fitness elliptical exercise machine reaffirmed the paradox benefit of exercise: that the more energy you expend the more energy you retain. And the more energetically you finish a workout the more energetically you can start the next. Your finish line becomes your starting line. You cross that finish line, invested not spent, and “fueled” not foiled for the next challenge.
So now I have learned to celebrate the finish as the start of the next project, the ending is the beginning. How do you turn your endings into beginnings? How do you keep your team fueled even after completing a challenging project? I look forward to reading your comments. Use the Comments section below.
Celebrate the end of a project as the beginning of the next to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.
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