Golden Visions and Associates | Coaching for Success
Thought for the Week
Your Success Thought for the Week of September 30, 2009
Fourth Quarter Challenge
You're the coach of a college football team entering the fourth quarter of a particularly long game. Lights are bright; crowd is loud; and your players are tired.
It's up to you to motivate your team to win this game.  Here is your challenge:
  • It's been a great run.  You're winning by seventeen points.  Your players could rest on their laurels, thinking they have the game in the bag.  They feel comfortable, ready to relax, and then they lower their intensity.
  • It's been a rough game.  You're behind by seventeen points.  Your players feel the disappointment of the fans and of missed passes and fumbles.  They're discouraged, ready to call it quits, and go home.
Either way, your wisest focus is upon what's ahead in this next quarter. This Fourth Quarter is your opportunity to win the entire game. 
The same is true for you leading your team in business.  You may have had a winning year and your team is now ready to relax.  It's up to you to lead them to a winning conclusion for this year, and get them back in the game beyond the upcoming distractions of holiday parties, increased family obligations, and less healthy diets.
Or, you've had a long, hard year.  Your team feels the weight of missed opportunities, lost clients, and income.  Your goal is to release their heavy weight as you enter into what can be your most productive quarter of the year.
Either way, how do you lead your team to a winning year-end?  Create a Fourth Quarter Challenge that will reengage your team.
Below are examples of Fourth Quarter Challenges my clients have instituted for their teams to thrive in the coming twelve weeks:
Be the Best of the Best: when the tendency is to get comfortable
  • Put only your best foot forward; best ideas into action (forget the rest)
  • Focus your thoughts and energy in areas that bring the best results
  • Bring the best of the best you've developed this year to higher levels
Take Yourself 1% Higher: when the tendency is to rest on laurels
  • What one client interaction or missed opportunity will you enhance to be 1% more effective today than yesterday?
  • Through feedback, how can you support your associates to do the same?
  • At the end of twelve weeks, by compounding your effectiveness by 1% daily, your productivity will increase by 82%. That's one heck of a way to end the final quarter. (Thanks to Jeff Ludeman at BOTC for the calculation.)
Appreciate and Recognize: when the tendency is to criticize and blame
  • Acknowledge three people doing things right each day.
  • Know that the lower on the totem pole, the greater the need for recognition. 
  • By the end of this quarter, you'll have acknowledged 180 actions or people.  If everyone in a company of 100 does this, you'll have raised spirits 1,800 times.  How will this set us up for entering the New Year?
As a leader, you can look at Your Fourth Quarter as a college football coach does - that it's the only quarter that matters.
Will you lead your team to victory?  The choice is yours.
Have a great week and enjoy your discoveries.

To see more of my published articles, including ''Gifts of Emotional Intelligence,' go to: Golden Visions & Associates, Coaching for Executive and Leadership Success and then click on Writing and Wisdom across the top.

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Permission is granted to either reproduce copy or distribute "Your Success Thought for the Week" for September 30, 2009 as long as this copyright notice and full information about contacting the author is attached. The author is Ann Golden Eglé, GV&A, Golden Visions & Associates, Coaching for Success, 541.385.8887, PO Box 1696, Bend, Or. 97709.