I want to share with you an experience with a client that I am helping with right now. He and his partner are preparing to sell his business. There’s 100 million dollars, at least, involved in the selling of the business. This has high stakes, and high risks. There’s a lot riding on this, there’s a lot of tension in conversation. And I’ve been asked by my client to support him through these treacherous waters. The thing that I say to him is that you’ve spent a long time preparing for this moment and your business is extraordinarily profitable at this time.
When things are extremely important there is often a rush to try and complete things as quickly as possible so they do get completed accurately the first time. To me that is totally a mind game, that’s an amateurish way of looking at things. Because the reality is that it’s not uncommon to see people stumble and fall right before the finish line in critical situations because the rush they are in to get things done, because the mind feels like it is done because it is so close or we got to get this done otherwise it will fall apart. All of those things become a fear based motivation to finish and that’s never a good motivation source to do anything. More often than not it ends in disaster. And few things are more tragic than to see someone stumble after spending years at something and to have the reason be one that is so preventable issue. And as I told my client, the key thing right now is we want to finish three steps beyond. And what I mean by three steps beyond? If you look at a slow motion of a 100-meter dash Olympic final, you’ll notice the runners always let up just before they break the tape. They don’t know they are doing this. There unconscious belief that they are done, kind of, sets them up for this. They not only lose time and fail to break world records, but they may be passed up. I’ve seen people trip and fall at the last second in an Olympic race because of that. It’s never over until it’s over. And if we look three steps beyond we must have a visualization point that we can actually internalize and know what that is by what that feels like and what the circumstances have to be like to break that tape and be beyond that. At which point, the celebration can begin. So, we’ve always used that as a yard stick. Get a pace where we can maintain our focus and awareness of those things that have to go right and things we might have to make micro adjustments for to stay the course, that’s often required towards the end. It needs to be fast enough where we aren’t lazy and making assumptions and it can’t be too fast where our mind is racing. When set that point three steps beyond it’s a place where we know that the skill and objective has been completed accurately and thoroughly, it doesn’t need to be revisited. Its final. We need to decide what that is. And that’s a personal decision, of course, depending on circumstance and where you are. And once we define what that is there is no negotiation to speed up. Again, things only go as fast as we have a conscious awareness of what the ramifications are and what the risks may be that we didn’t see previously that start emerging.
So, when you are engaging anything of high significance and you’re coming to the end always come back to this concept of finishing three steps beyond and you’ll be glad you did. Because you will convert your wish success into a success achieved. Which will increase your confidence in yourself and will build your legacy, you’ll be able to rally and lead a team from start to finish in situations that other people may seem in possible.
With that in mind, please continue to be mindful of three steps beyond.