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Finishing Well

By Chris Brady

There is an abundance of sayings that address the concept of beginning something.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step,” and “starting is more than half of finishing,” are just two that come immediately to mind.

But finishing is more important than starting.

In my lifetime, I’ve seen a lot of people start things; projects, businesses, jobs, careers, relationships, whatever. And I’ve done a lot of starting myself.

But I have noticed that there are way more things begun than finished. As a matter of fact, I have come to think that the art of finishing is what separates the truly great leaders from the rest.

Finishing Well is a concept that begs consideration. Many leaders begin the journey, but only few finish. And even fewer “finish well.”

J. Robert Clinton and Richard W. Clinton wrote that there are seven main barriers to “Finishing Well:”

  1. Finances – their use and abuse;
  2. Power – its abuse;
  3. Inordinate pride – which leads to downfall;
  4. Sex – illicit relationships;
  5. Family – critical issues;
  6. Plateauing; and
  7. Emotional and Psychological Wounding.

A quick review of this list will have every leader’s head nodding as he or she realizes they have either been sidetracked or tempted by one or many of these, or have known someone who has fallen to one of these culprits.

But I found most helpful the list of things leaders can do to enhance their chances of finishing well, as given to the authors by their mentor, whom they refer to only as “Pastor Ray:”

  1. Gain and keep a broad perspective;
  2. Develop an expectancy for renewal;
  3. Practice disciplines, especially spiritual ones;
  4. Develop and maintain a learning posture;
  5. Have and listen to mentors.

(paraphrased, taken from Leaders on Leadership, edited by George Barna).

As leaders on the journey to significance, I think it would benefit each of us to take these five enhancements to heart.

Remember: Any one can start, and many do. Few finish well, it’s up to you.

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Chris Brady co-authored the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Business Weekly, USA Today, and Money Magazine best-seller Launching a Leadership Revolution.

He is also in the World’s Top 30 Leadership Gurus and among the Top 100 Authors to Follow on Twitter. He has spoken to audiences of thousands around the world about leadership, freedom, and success.

Mr. Brady contributes regularly to Networking Times magazine, and has been featured in special publications of Success and Success at Home. He also blogs regularly at Chris Brady.

He is an avid motorized adventurer, pilot, world traveler, humorist, community builder, soccer fan, and dad.

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Finishing Well