“Every success is built on the ability to do better than good enough.” – Unknown
Let the 2nd half begin … and so it has!! Sorry all of you raving NFL fans, it is not football season just yet. We’re talking about the 2nd half of the calendar year and you know what that means? It is time to step up the action!!!
Time to get serious about closing out the year strong and setting the stage for an even better new year to follow. Much the same as in sports, why do we humans always seem to have a greater sense of urgency in the 2nd half (of the year) than we do in the first half?
Most would say it’s a result of their efforts to recover from a slow start, an unexpected downturn in business or a major setback that put them behind in reaching their annual goals. I say it is simply human nature. We all go through cycles in life and business, ebbs and flows, much like the four seasons. As a result, our pace or sense of urgency is largely influenced by the cycle we are currently in, and how we are performing.
How can we create a greater sense of urgency for ourselves and our respective teams regardless of the business cycle?
This is an age-old challenge in sports, life and business. How do we create that greater sense of urgency and drive for performance? Moreover, how can it be sustained over longer periods of time without leading to burnout? While there is no one right answer that befits every situation, here are a few suggestions to consider if you have struggled with this issue in the past.
- Minimize the performance swings. Normalizing the performance cycle highs and lows throughout the year is vital to staying ahead of the curve. Develop strategies to enable you to be more efficient and productive, and closely monitor your progress so you can make course corrections where needed to avoid playing catch-up at the end.
- Change your fiscal year-end date. This might sound like an odd thing to do, but think about it. What is the most stressful time of the year? The holiday season. Why add even more to the pile by having your fiscal year-end occur at the holidays? If your business has a specific, non-calendar business cycle, you might want to consider such a move.
- Keep employees and stakeholders engaged. Create a culture that encourages growth, risk-taking, creative thinking and innovation, and healthy competition. Make the work fun, challenging and rewarding. Involve employees in the business planning and goal-setting process so they adopt an ownership mentality.
- Don’t settle for the status quo. Good enough is not enough to consistently achieve higher levels of performance. Raise the bar and establish a “New Normal” in terms of the agreed upon performance standards and operating principles. Hold yourself and others accountable for delivering the improved results.
- Get your books. The best way to prepare for future success is through continuing your education and personal development. Stay abreast of the industry, market trends and ahead of your competition by completing at least one relevant online course, seminar/workshop or training class per quarter.
BONUS TIP: Want to gain an extra week every year? Show up for work 10 minutes early every day and be ready to conduct business. Compliments of my friend, Butch Bellah, from his book, The 10 Essential Habits of Sales Superstars: Plugging into the Power of Ten.
It’s time for action!!! No one wants to play catch-up during the 2nd half or any other time of the year for that matter. By implementing the above suggestions your organization will be better positioned for success today, tomorrow and in future years to come.
Enjoy the journey!
COPYRIGHT © 2015-17 John Carroll