“Just Do it!”
By Dr. David Robinson
The famous Nike slogan known around the world will be my theme for the next few months. Learning to follow through on your commitments should not be a goal to reach for, but a way of life.
All of us have been disappointed in ourselves and others because commitments were not kept. Unfulfilled expectations still bring life’s greatest disappointments.
Many have ideas, even plans, but most never follow them through to completion. Finishing is not an option for successful companies and ministries. First, it becomes a discipline, then a way of life.
Too many leaders delegate finishing and following through to subordinates because it usually involves a lot of details. Final results should never be delegated. It remains every leader’s main job. Don’t take it for granted. If you do, you will be disappointed often because of those assumptions.
Place a premium on completion not just action. It must become a core value or it will not happen on a consistent basis. The best strategic planning efforts are worthless without a commitment to finish with the desired results. Action without results produces sweat but not success.
Senior Leaders are responsible for creating a culture of productivity. Some people have had the same position too long. They think their value comes from just showing up, maintaining and providing programs or services. Leadership, whether itâ€™s first, second or third tier, is all about getting desired results from finishing the plan. So much of what is done by team members on a daily basis is disconnected from strategy, action plans or goals. Someone must maintain the present but it should not be the same leaders who have the responsibility to create the future.
Putting a plan in place is easy. Setting a goal is easy. Following through to the finish line is the challenge. Distractions, unanticipated problems, people letting you down and a myriad of other things will challenge your best strategies and plans. In spite of that, great leaders “Just do it.” They find a way to finish.
Too many leaders kid themselves about how well things are going because they don’t want to face present reality. Ninety percent don’t set real goals because they haven’t committed to a strategy to which the goals are connected. If you never commit to a strategy for the future, you can’t be accused of not finishing. If you are involved in something where there is no risk of failure, as a leader, you are not sufficiently challenged.
The difference between winning and losing is the commitment to action, for the purpose of finishing, not just having church or being in business. In our present environment, there are no free passes for those who simply want to try something or just show up. Finishing in my mind is the single biggest challenge facing leaders today.
Six Steps to Finishing with Measurable Results:
One. Identify why finishing your strategy is a problem. Many times so much energy is spent in meetings, planning, analyzing, and philosophizing that little is left for those with the greatest influence to make sure the plan is actually initiated and followed through to completion.
Two. Leaders too often delegate the follow-through to second and third tier leaders and move on to what they perceive to be issues that are more important. There is no more important issue than finishing with measurable results.
Three. Execution of a strategy is often seen as a tactic rather than an internal discipline to be developed. That is why you see so many promises made and so few results delivered.
Four. The better you and your team become at finishing, the greater the challenges you will be able to undertake. Not every aspect of your strategy will produce the desired results but donâ€™t let that hinder you from finishing. Learn from your efforts and go on, but by all means finish!
Five. Make sure you have the right people in the right place doing the right things. You can enter the race with an old nag, but if you want to win consistently, you will have to develop some thoroughbreds. Ready-made thoroughbreds are usually expensive, hard to find, harder to keep and difficult to keep in line. All great leaders can take an average team member who is highly motivated and turn them into a loyal champion who will help them finish. All finishers are winners, regardless of the score.
Six. Hold people accountable not just for developing a good strategy (action plan), not just for starting with great enthusiasm, but for finishing with measurable results. Have they filled the gap between the promises made and the results delivered?
If your church, ministry or marketplace effort is to survive and thrive during these difficult days, it must have an effective, on-going, strategic planning process in place, coupled with a relentless passion to finish.
“So we built the wall, and entire wall was joined together for the people had a
mind to work. So the wall was finished in fifty-two days. When our enemies
heard and all the nations around us saw they perceived that this work was
done by our God.” Nehemiah 5:6; 6:15, 16 NKJV
Great leaders are passionately involved in their work. They are honest about present reality for themselves, the effort they lead, and the world around them. However, nothing motivates them more and establishes great credibility than finishing.
Many have great ideas, know the right words to say about strategizing and can overload you with good information, but only a few, about 3%–deliver the planned and desired results on time and on budget.
If you are willing to work, not afraid of risk and have an unquenchable passion, you can be in that 3%. Why not make 2011 the year you become a finisher.
“JUST DO IT!”
Dr. Dave Robinson is the founder of Coaching4Ministers. Â For more information on Dr. Robinson, or his ministry, please visit www.coaching4ministers.com.