Good start, better end

March 05 2013

Most of our efforts are concentrated on beginnings.

We are taught the importance of starting off on the right track and putting our best foot forward. We want to barrel out of the gate and make great first impressions.

Consider:

  • We rehearse repetitively for auditions and practice months before the big game.
  • First meetings include an extra something — added charisma, a special lunch, a sharp suit.
  • We introduce thoughtfully, crafting emails and inserting interesting tidbits into conversation.
  • We prepare for interviews and spend hours on applications.
  • Our “hellos” are bright, hinting at the potential of what’s to come.
  • We plan in advance and secure reservations for that first date.

In fact, the importance of beginning well has been so deeply engrained into our psyche, that we sometimes don’t even start at all.

But what about endings?

The final performance.
A career change.
The finished paper.
A closed deal.
Finalized contracts.
A meeting’s end.
Goodbyes.
A thoughtful thank you.

What was once a beginning now has a story.

What if we gave endings as much time, energy, and preparation as each beginning? What if we focused on creating an equally successful close?

Instead of simply walking off the court, saying goodbye, hanging up, how can you leave a trace of magic? Is there a ceremony you can create, a finishing touch you can add?

Your work deserves more than a handshake or a subtle nod. Go out with a bang.