Be a finisher and not just a starter

There are idea people, and then there are people who finish things. Idea people generally go from thing to thing and complete very little over the course of their life. The people who start something and finish it–now that is something to take notice of.

I had this friend some years ago who lived in North Carolina, and they had a very nice home. He decided he would build a raised deck and covered barbecue area by hand. He was all lathered up and got the lumber, drew the plans exactly like he wanted it to look, had the vision of what it would look like, and set the day he would start construction. He stayed with it until the deck was about 75% finished; the roof was just framed out and the brick fire pit was about half-finished. He lost interest and didn’t complete the project. When they sold the house some years later, the partially finished barbecue area was still back there rotting in the weather looking like a big wart in the backyard.

As you know, I sell hotels and as you can imagine, I have seen a few. I have met many general managers and heads of maintenance. Without exception, I can walk into a maintenance man’s shop or a general manager’s office and tell you how well-maintained or well-managed the hotel is. It’s amazingly simple to look at the maintenance shop or the general manager’s office and tell you with a high degree of certainty how the hotel is running. Now, you show me a maintenance man that is organized and a general manager who is organized, and I will show you a well-maintained and well-managed hotel. I will also show you a hotel staff who enjoys where they work.

Elaine and I were riding through the country the other day and went past a home that looked like there were more possessions in the yard than in the house. It’s not a perfect science and nothing is ever always correct, but I would guess that the people that live in that house are financially overwhelmed, exhausted with life, argue a lot and probably live an unsatisfying life.

Why am I telling you this today? I find that my life gets a little easier to handle when I get my life and the areas around me in order. There is nothing as sweet as standing back looking at something you completed.

It is told that when Albert Einstein finished the paper on relativity and the details of the invention that he went to put a paper clip on the top and noticed that the paper clip was bent and not in the shape it was suppose to be. He took 45 minutes to straighten and bend the paper clip to the proper shape.

During the presidency of Abraham Lincoln, it is told that any citizen could come meet with him at the White House if they were prepared to wait in line. One such meeting took place and the person was led into Lincoln’s office. It is reported that Lincoln did not look up and did not acknowledge the person was even in the room until he had completed the task on his desk, signed the documents, rolled them up, and replaced the rubber band. Only then did he look at the person and say, “how can I help you?” Abraham Lincoln was a finisher of tasks

Do you think Nancy Reagan had to tell Ronnie to complete things? Did Laura Bush have to tell George to be a finisher, did Melinda Gates need to tell Bill not do things halfway, and was Eleanor Roosevelt in the habit telling FDR to get something finished? Again, very few things are exact, but in my humble opinion, every person that was and is a real game changer were finishers and completers of tasks and ideas. They didn’t hand it off to someone else and expect them to finish, no they were there until it was finished.

So, as I look at all the abilities of people, to me the most important is the ability to see it, stay with it and be a finisher. Ideas are great, but it’s really a beautiful thing to see a person who has ideas AND the ability to see it through. KT

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