Sometimes December has the feel of the late stages of a marathon. The work, like those 26.2 miles, keeps coming, and you really start to just want it to be over. Even harder than those moments late in a marathon are the moments late in an 18 or 20-mile long training run (where there’s no cheering crowds, finishers’ medals, and bananas at the end!). Sometimes our year-end work has that banality to it. It just . . . needs . . . to . . . get . . . done . . .
I learned one trick that might help you finish your 2012 real strong.
Mentally retrace your steps from the start of the run – or the year – or a key project. Visualize that first hill. See that long stretch by the river. Remember how you got through that part near Michigan Avenue that you always hated. It kind of amazed me how much there was to go over — wow! I’ve covered a lot of ground — and it gave me a sense of momentum. Small wins, steps along the way are a big deal. Kouzes & Posner say so in their book The Leadership Challenge, John Kotter lists those small wins as a key in his 8 steps On Change.
This method of recall-for-momentum can work for you as an individual. Of course it also helps when you are leading others in this time — of waning daylight and waning days. Kim Cameron picks up the small wins and momentum theme in his work on positive leadership, and one of his contributions is to communally note those wins; celebrate them and make them public. Change and progress come when we have some sense that we’re not starting every day from scratch.
You can do this, finishing strong,
Leading with your best self!