5 Steps To Finish The Year Strong!

GreenlightMy wife and I just dropped-off our very excited daughters at school.  It’s the first day of the new school year.  That means it’s GO TIME.

Every August I get extra revved-up at this exact moment.  Why?  Back to school season creates a collective consciousness in America that shows itself in work ethic and purchase habits.  Summer vacations that recharge batteries and bond friendships have served their critical purpose.  It’s time to transition to finish the year strong in your business and that effort starts now!  We have exactly 120 days, one-third of the year, in front of us from now to the December Holiday break.  Except for Labor Day, Thanksgiving and a couple faith-based holidays, the collective workforce is engaged and undistracted.  At least the smart individuals are!

Are you ready to go on a run and finish this year strong?  Here are my 5 steps to do so:

  1. NEW BOOKS:  My daughters will receive new textbooks today.  I will select some as well.  I generally read business biographies in the summer, but today I will shift to books on strategy, leadership and execution.
  2. NEW SCHEDULE:  Starting today, I get up a half hour earlier to have some quiet time for a devotional, make a cup of coffee, get breakfast ready for my daughters and text / tweet props and thoughts to friends and my team.  When my wife drives the girls to school at 7:30, I am already at full speed.
  3. RENEW FOCUS:  I ask myself, what do I need to get rid of so I can be unhindered?  Is there any clutter on my desk – things that are weighing me down that I need to DO NOW or finalize or cross off?  I always find a small list of things that were “pending” and take a specific half-day to “execute (do) or execute (kill/skip).” Try this and you’ll be surprised how well it helps you focus and feel ready to push ahead.   It’s like cleaning out a closet – you feel good when it’s done.
  4. RENEW THE URGENCY:  To experience the satisfaction (and rewards), go create a sense of urgency for you and your team.  A few things could include: incentives and competitive goals for the team and a determine the reward for yourself / your wife & family that is paid for out of any year-end bonus.  Create visibility so the competitive standings are known across the entire team.  Text your people daily in your “mentor role”- one day to challenge in a positive way and the next day with any numbers along with specific encouragement about executing.  Also increasing the frequency of 1:1 meetings, but shorten the duration – make some of them 5 minute stand-up meetings.  These little tricks inject a sense of urgency across the whole team.
  5. RENEW VISION: What do you want to say about this 120 day run in January?  Get specific and list 3-5 objectives.  Some of those may require a simple adjustment on your part while others may demand new methods vs. last year.  Either way, take your time to consider the list and put it on a wall where you can see it every day.

Are you ready to go on the 120 day run and finish the year strong?

Get to it!

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