We put great emphasis on strategic planning, executional deployment, and ensuring we nail our numbers. What we tend to forget is the equal importance of deliberately finishing strong.
Whatever form finishing may take, whether it’s the end of a project, handing off a task or initiative to someone else, or moving from one role to another, the way we finish things can have significant impact on our brand.
Finishing strong means showing the same level of thoughtfulness, planning, and personal touch to how you end things as you did to begin them.
When we become preoccupied with the next thing and move on too fast without planning how to finish strong, we often fail to demonstrate the excellence, staying power, and meticulous thinking that can differentiate and trademark our talent.
Some tips to be sure you don’t miss the brand-elevating opportunity to finish strong:
- Recap the key objectives and meaningful outcomes of the project and share with involved parties to provide everyone with a sense of accomplishment and closure. Crystallizing the results from all the collaborative energy spent reminds everyone that the hustle and grind is worth it.
- Send public shout outs to key contributors and teams who helped make the work happen. Highlighting specific efforts goes a long way toward building mutually appreciative relationships and fostering easy-to-gain support for the next initiative.
- Send personal, handwritten thank you notes to those who played a pivotal part in the work, however big or small. Whether they put in long, sacrificial hours, or they kicked down a door that was blocking your way or picked a lock you couldn’t figure out on your own giving you newfound access, you know the people who deserve the extra personal gesture. This simple act is a wow moment because it’s becoming so rare. Thoughtful people are memorable and inspiring.
- Craft a well laid out plan to hand off a project, task, or role, showing your diligence in setting them up for success rather than a dump-and-run. Remember, even when something is no longer a priority for you, or you’re being pulled into a new higher-level domain, all things worth doing are still important and deserve your attention. Avoid, if possible, transferring duties via email alone. Give them the respect of your time to allow for any Q & A, or nuances to impart that will give them the benefit of what you’ve learned along the way. Any watch-outs, potential land mines, tricky stakeholders, or crucial considerations may be old news to you but can be a gold mine to them.
- Provide your personal post-game learnings and insights to the team to share the wealth of the experience and pollinate those best practices and realizations. Invite them to do the same. Teams who think together stay together 😊 🧠
Most importantly, finishing strong is about showing your leadership character, integrity, and sincere care by paying attention to the details even when the sizzle is gone and you’re eager to move on.
Leadership isn’t as much a title as it is a reputation. Someone who does the hard things to produce the right things, and retains their passion and stamina through setbacks, disappointments, and doldrums. How you finish something speaks volumes that your words could never prove.