The world belongs to the energetic. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
What comes to mind when you hear the words Fourth Quarter? Jot your answers on a piece of paper. This reflection will lend important insight into what happens in your life for the next three months.
The Fourth Quarter is the last push for many of us. It conjures up feelings of exhaustion some days, the idea that we are almost there but it may take more than we have to cross the finish line. Often laden with performance metrics and projection goals, it’s a hit or miss. It is full of family commitments and holidays that often feel in direct competition to end of year work pressures continually mounting. The Fourth Quarter leader knows all of this and it gives them energy because they practice for this moment all year long.
After years of coaching leaders through the Fourth Quarter, here are some things I have learned that may help you embrace the Fourth Quarter and finish with the energy you started with at the outset of this year:
4th Quarter Leaders Do What They Do Best…
We have all heard the legendary stories of the play never before tried, or the trick never performed before a live audience that leads to fame and glory, but many more go down in flames. I have seen leaders experience more long term success when they play to their strengths as their go-to strategy for finishing strong. In most cases, it is best not to use high-pressure situations to try something spontaneous and new.
4th Quarter Leaders Keep Their Eyes on The Ball…
This is the time to stay focused and steady versus adopting the, “quit while you are ahead” mentality. Many of us have experienced or witnessed being left behind because we let up too early. This isn’t about a forced march but rather a steady pressure that says, “I got this. I have the energy to go all the way.”
4th Quarter Leaders Are Patient…
The number one thing I see leaders struggle with in the Fourth Quarter is feeling overwhelmed. The best way to overcome that feeling when the pressure to perform is too much is to break goals into manageable pieces. It rarely works to shove the big initiatives “down peoples throats” in an effort to manage them to meet goals set at the beginning of the year when it is so late in the game. It communicates a level of fear and uncertainty that creates a depletion of energy. Often people recede versus stepping up to the plate when leaders turn up the pressure too much. This is the time for small wins, over shorter periods of time, breeding more success and engagement from the people being led. Before you know it, not only is the Fourth Quarter coming to a close but there is a palpable momentum propelling you into the First Quarter of next year! That is what we call a win/win.
Leaders who succeed in the Fourth Quarter know they are not alone and their energy comes from something bigger than themselves. Leaders also make one more very key distinction. They are aware of what is really worth their energy and what is not. So, if the “world belongs to the energetic” you are giving momentum to what you are giving energy to and therefore it is critical to focus that energy in the direction of your dreams during the Fourth Quarter and beyond.
Now take a moment to jot down what you think of when you hear the words, Fourth Quarter. Do you feel a shift in your energy? I do!
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