Some people may object to the statement, "How you start is how you finish." What about fourth quarter comebacks? What about those who start strong and end up failing? Those are great questions, but they also represent exceptions to the rule. In most cases, how a leader starts is how they finish.
The presidency is seen as the pinnacle of leadership roles. A measure of the presidency is the 100-day marker. Analysts and the public measure presidents by what they are able to accomplish in the first 100 days of their presidency and use that measure to compare them to past presidents and to predict the outcome of the remainder of their time in office. Some presidents object to the measure because they do not believe that their ultimate success or failure can be predicted by a little over three months in office.
A good leader knows that when they take on a new leadership role, it is important to start off strong. The first days in the role are filled with meeting new people and making first impressions, making staffing and policy decisions that will impact the remainder of their tenure, and developing the plans that will shape their future as a leader. Whether your start is measured by a week, a month, or 100 days, know that it is still a measure.
So what about the exceptions to the rule? As much as we love a good comeback story, no one really wants to be in the position of the underdog having to defeat the odds to get the win. We are much more comfortable getting to the top and keeping the lead. That exception to the rule should encourage leaders who do not get off to a great start that all is not lost--there is still a chance to come out a winner. On the other hand, those who start out on top and end up losing usually made some grave error along the way. Hopefully no one ends up in that situation!
Finishing how you start should encourage you to start strong. Begin with confidence and a solid plan in order to give yourself a great start with a promise for a successful finish.
Most of us know what we need to do to become successful. We don't have to be experts in a field to make progress towards a goal. For example, if we want to become healthier, we don't have to be a fitness guru to know we need to eat healthier and work out more. If we want to be in a better financial position, we don't have to work on Wall Street to know we should save money and invest it wisely. In any given situation, most of us know SOMETHING we can do to work toward success. So why aren't there more successful people?
The key is self-discipline. Self-discipline is the difference between knowing what to do and actually doing it. We often set goals in a moment of passion, but we find that after that passion is gone, we are no longer motivated to do what it takes to reach that goal. That's where self-discipline comes in. Self-discipine is what drives a person to wake up at 5am to workout or to stay late in the office to complete paperwork. Self-discipline motivates a person to make follow-up calls when they don't feel like it, or to turn down dessert after dinner. Self-discipline moves a person to put 15% of their paycheck into a savings account every pay period.
Self-discipline is the difference between winners and losers. When you look at professional athletes, their sheer talent is amazing! But when you really pay attention, you realize that it takes self-discipline combined with their talent to make them successful. They workout religiously, practice constantly, watch their diet, and devote time to learning plays and strategy. The result of their self-discipline is what you see on the court and on the field!
So how do you achieve self-discipline?
Self-discipline can sometimes be difficult to acquire, but the payoff is great! If you ask any successsful person, the reward makes the difficult journey well worth it. If you are looking for an accountability partner or would like help in developing your self-discipline, let me help! I'm here for you!