We are coming down to the finish line with October marking the start of the fourth quarter of the year. Anyone can get off to a great start, but what matters is how you finish. Do you finish strong? Regardless of whether it is a game a race or a fiscal year; it’s not about how you start what matters most is how you finish. How strong are you at the end of the game (or year) when everything is on the line and the pressure to deliver mounts to an all-time high?
The competition is still tough, but there is a lot less of it. Why? Because few people truly believe that they belong there in the hunt at the end of the game and even fewer do what it takes to train and prepare to be in it to win it at the end. This is why it is in the fourth quarter that the best separate themselves from the rest. They are built to last, have trained well and believe they deserve to win. Fourth quarter greatness is the difference between wanting to win and deserving to win.
Three case scenarios from the past year about why fourth quarter greatness is important:
- The Cardinals 86-76 (.531) won the World Series even though they didn’t qualify for the wild card until the last day of the regular season.
- The New York Giants won the Super Bowl, even though they finished the regular season by a mere one game over .500.
- The Los Angeles Kings (40-27) took the Stanley Cup as the eighth and worst seed in their conference headed into the playoffs.
Many of the pundits had given these teams last rites prior to the end of the season yet they each emerged as champions. The game is not played on paper and neither is the sport of business. It matters not what others say and believe outside the walls of your organization or locker room, what matters is a unified sense of belief and common purpose INSIDE your walls.
Do you finish with excellence? Do you end as strong as you start? The winner of the game is not the team that starts the strongest but the team that ends the strongest. What makes a champion is not how you start the project but how you end the project. It’s not about how you start an initiative but how you follow through and finish with fourth quarter greatness.
Don’t get me wrong, starting strong is important but what makes the champions in business sports and life is how you finish. Finish the fourth quarter strong it is where your greatness shines through and champions are truly made.
Commit yourself to fourth quarter greatness for the next 90 days.