One of the many traits that were seared into my brain, during my service as a U. S. Marine, was the concept of completing the task. As a way of honoring the service of my many fellow veterans, I thought I would make an entry about the finality and completeness of task accomplishment, which was a trait impressed upon us all during our time in uniform. There are few things more troubling in the realm of leadership than an unfinished assignment or the knowledge that when delegating a job you have virtually no assurance of its completion, except through constant oversight. The best teams that I have worked with and for were those where task accomplishment was a matter of practice. When you say, “let’s get this done,” you hope it carries weight and the significance of a final statement.
Task accomplishment requires an added ingredient; focus (sometimes absolute). I recall being in much better shape in my youth (seems like a lifetime ago). As a young Officer of Marines I could run like the wind. The ability to run long distances has become synonymous with stamina and endurance; both great qualities to have in a tough environment like the military or even the boardroom, where decisions carry weight and finality. You never know when you are going to be called to push yourself in an effort to accomplish a difficult task or engagement.
I have a close friend who has always exemplified this idea of internal focus and a desire to finish or succeed. Watching it in action served to fuel my own engines on more than one occasion. Stacked against a more competitive field he would always hold his own by finishing in a much stronger fashion than expected. In this way he always exceeded expectations crossing the finish line. Focusing on outcomes can serve as fuel. Mind you, there are other characteristics necessary for success, but some task just require you to dig down, press on and finish. It is proof that when you have set your mind to a task and convinced yourself of the outcome you stand a very good chance of seeing your objective become a reality.
How do we stay focused on the end game? As the doer, approach each task as though you were handling a vital component of the overall mission. It will make you serious about completing the task and produce results that speak for themselves. Concentrate on the finish line and stay focused on finishing. Completing a task can be its own reward. Sometimes getting it done is much more important than the how. Leaders sometimes get hung up on the how. When you set yourself free from the how, you get innovation.
When you show yourself to be someone who finishes things, and finishes them well, you will be rewarded with tasks of increasing difficulty and responsibility. Eventually, you will be the one setting the vision. The difficulty will be in identifying those who possess the trait of getting things done; those for whom accomplishment has become part of their DNA. As I have written before, accomplishment creates its own momentum. This momentum always yields results!