It was the fourth quarter.
They were up by three touchdowns.
All they had to do was maintain the lead, and the championship was theirs.
The problem was, they knew it.
As a result, they got complacent. The coach made bad play calls. The players lacked initiative.
At the same time, the other team came in with a determination to fight to the finish – to put it all on the line.
The winners lost and the losers won that day…all because determination and skill faced off complacency and incompetency in the fourth quarter.
In any game, all quarters matter; but a game can be won or lost in the fourth quarter.
As we face the fourth quarter of the year as leaders in business, keep this thought in mind.
If you and your team nailed your goals the first three quarters, congratulations!
Celebrate the successes…but guard against complacency. Otherwise, you could lose in the fourth quarter all the gains you have made in the first three quarters. Set the example as a leader by determining to make the fourth quarter the best one of all.
If you didn’t quite hit the mark the first three quarters, all is not lost.
There is still time to score a victory.
Fourth Quarter Wins
There are four key factors to fourth quarter wins, and if you lead your team well, they are enough to pull off a winning season.
Take time to review the goals you set for the year. Note which have been attained and what remain. Of those that remain, choose one goal that, with intense focus, could make a major difference for your company. This is not the time to take on more, but the time to take on less…with more focus.
The fourth quarter comes with a more intense deadline. Whereas other quarters offer “catch up” time before year-end if you don’t meet your goals, the fourth quarter is it. You have one shot to reach year-end goals, and this is it. Let that deadline motivate your team to go all out and do what it takes to win. Strong deadlines are catalysts for high productivity.
In the example above, the winning team had intense focus and deadline. They were focused on winning, and they knew they only had one quarter in which to do it. But neither of those factors would have pulled off the victory if they were not intensely focused on working together. An intensely focused team working toward a goal is an unstoppable force.
Intense skill applies to all levels of the organization. As a leader, you must call the right plays. As a team, each individual must know their part in each play and be equipped to execute it well. Are you calling the right plays? Is your team equipped and educated to do what needs to be done?
What the ultimate winning team had that the losing team lacked was one thing: Intensity.
As the leader of an organization, you still have time to come from behind and win – or to maintain the win you have thus far.
All you and your team need is intensity.
- Are you intensely focused on one goal?
- Do you have an intense deadline…a stake-in-the-ground, “We will do this by this date” kind of deadline?
- Is your team intense about working together to draw on each other’s strengths to make it happen?
- Do you have the intense skill to make it happen? Are you allowing and equipping each team member to work in his or her best strengths and run the plays they are innately great at running?
Here’s the bottom line:
It’s the fourth quarter.
You can win or lose, no matter where you are right now.
And the difference will be in your level of intensity.
To learn more about how you can increase the intensity and impact of your team, click here to learn about the Maxwell Method of Communication Impact Report .
As the CEO of Strength Leader Development, Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after international executive mentor, coach, trainer and speaker. Deb is well versed in global business operations and helps business leaders and their teams to discover and leverage their strengths, so they can create highly collaborative teams that deliver great results. With a refreshingly direct style, Deb helps leaders and their teams to deliver profitable results. Connect with Deb to learn more about her mentorship and coaching programs to equip you with advanced strategies to elevate your results.