“If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. Whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward”. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
As 2017 disappears in the rear-view mirror, we close out the year with thoughts of gifts and gratitude. While you share your appreciation to others for what they do for you, don’t forget to give yourself a gift – a running start to 2018.
In track and field, a running start is when a broad jumper accelerates toward the starting line. Unlike the sprinter who stands still waiting for the starting gun, the jumper’s liftoff gives him extra energy—and a better performance.
Leaders can also benefit from a head start. My late friend and mentor Arnie was very active as a mentor for the Running Start – Bringing Young Women to Politics program in Washington, DC. The program uses mentors to prepare young women for leadership roles, inspiring them by sharing their experiences as to how the political world operates. The mentors are catalysts to encourage these young women to go beyond getting involved, and to be ready to lead.
Are you ready for 2018? Will you begin standing in place, or moving forward toward greater professional fulfillment?
Three keys to a running start in 2018
While the shadow of 2018 is beginning to appear, 2017 is not over. High performers understand every day is a gift, an opportunity you cannot recover, and they stretch to the very end. We tend to shift our mindset to regrets of what was not accomplished, but your energy is better spent on the journey of achievement and momentum carrying into next year.
Listen to Yourself
Parker Palmer in his book Let Your Life Speak offers insight on how we should reflect on our professional lives. He believes fulfillment in our vocation comes from within and through listening – not just to the wisdom of others but also to yourself. He asks a penetrating question: “Is your life that you are living the same as the life that wants to live in you?” Reflecting on where you are is critical before you leap forward, and begins with listening to your true self.
By finishing strong and listening to your true self, you are ready for the 2018 starting line. Identify fast start goals you can achieve the first 30 days – finish that project, stop doing something that no longer adds value, or start harvesting a neglected relationship. Generate the momentum now to being 2018 with clear intentions of finish, start, or stop.
Let me close by saying how grateful I am to you, my readers and audience, for your continued support and inspiration. 2017 was a great year, and I appreciate all of your feedback on my book, Five Minutes to Lead. I am gearing up for my Running Start in 2018 so stay tuned to some exciting new messages to come in the next few months!
Your 2018 running starts today. Finish strong, listen to yourself, and plan for a fast start. We often focus on the wrong line – the finish line. The starting line is where excellence begins – unwrap the gift of a running start.
Have a Happy New Year!
Building Generous Leaders & Healthy Organizations