Monday, March 12, 2012

It Is Finished

I've surrounded myself with overachievers. My colleagues around the senior management table, the members of my team, and the ever-growing network of people I'm connected with are get-it-done folks...and I love it. Being competitive is part of my DNA, and that mindset can be seen in my personal and professional life every day.

Too Much of a Good Thing
Sometimes that relentless quest to be number one, or the most recognized, or promoted the fastest, or profitable, or you fill in the blank comes with a price. When do we ever finish anything? In sports if "you can't finish" you aren't going to last very long. But what about in business?

The Wall Street Journal published a great piece on Creativity recently that described how some of the most impressive breakthroughs have come because the person behind the idea could not let it go, even when the project was supposed to be complete. Is that healthy? Is the message that we should all maintain an obsession on our various responsibilities even when we're supposed to have wrapped up one issue and moved on to another? I'm not sure.

Live Life as a Finisher
There is an important distinction that must be made on this issue. The focus is on "it" being finished, not saying "I" am finished. We're never finished...ever. But our work, projects, and new ideas can not go on forever.

If they do, then we are simply destined to spend our professional lives on the hamster wheel chasing an unattainable end point that doesn't exist. I don't want to live that way, and I'm guessing you don't either.

How About You
When do you allow yourself to find real satisfaction in your work? Think about the time, energy, resources, and risks you take to move your organization forward. Are they worth it; or, is there always just one more thing that has to be done before you can rest? It's time to say..."It is finished."

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

pic courtesy of visualphotos


  1. You raise a big question for a Monday morning. I often think that we are missing something critical in terms of enjoying our successes and learning from our misses because we are constantly trying to think 30 steps ahead. I think leaders need to have a balanced approach to finishing projects and living in the moment more. Constant pushing forward does give the individual the sense that they never reach the goal.

    1. Thanks Trish. I struggle with this myself...competitive drive is an asset (usually), but can also get in the way of letting things go and moving forward. You've hit a key issue on balance in life...hard to achieve but so important!

  2. While we as individuals are not done, the task at hand may be complete. Or, the job we hold may have reached it's peak--ready for the next person to use it as a development step. This means taking on a new role that allows us to continue to develop--to proceed with our mission , but in a different title/role/business.