I love endings. They leave room for so many new great possibilities. They give you the opportunity to reflect, refuel, repair and relaunch.
When I joined KPMG US in 1999, I was sent to the traditional induction program, even though I had worked for two years in KPMG France before. One of the highlights was an inspiring induction speech by Rod MacGeary, then Chairman. In his address, he asked our assembly to share how often they reflected on their plans and performance, by show of hands. As he started with “at least once a year”, we all raised our arms. As he mentioned “at least once a quarter”, half the assembly put their arms down, and another quarter lowered their arms as they heard “at least once a month”. By the time Rod mentioned “once a week”, only a dozen of us still had their arms risen. He thanked us, and just as I caught myself thinking “I do it every …”, he said “I do it every day!”. then he went on explaining how this daily discipline was so important to him, to keep him not only on track, but on course.
You should try to have as many endings as you can.
Here are 7 great things you can do at the end of a period:
- Keep count of the points, and see where you stand on the scoreboard
- Check your own character, where you stand on the second scoreboard
- List your learning points – you will likely need more than one reminder
- Put a bad day/week/month behind you, and free your mind for the upcoming period
- Celebrate one more time your successes, as well as your attempts, for the past period
- Reconnect with people you care about but forgot in the rush of the job
- Dream a little, if you don’t do it every day
You don’t need to do it all. You just gain to do it often.
Some people will just reflect at the end of the year. But what about the end of a quarter? Companies do that. What about the end of a month? Magazines do that. It’s their publishing date ; the end of a month’s worth of thinking, and listening, and talking, and writing, and rushing. What about the end of a week? What about the end of the weekend? The end of a day, even?
With that in mind, how often do you notice, and use, endings: once a year? once a quarter? once a month? once a week? more often?
And what do you do with the opportunity each ending gives you? Happy weekend.