Finishing well is just as important as getting off to a good start. Where a good start ensures proper direction and good momentum, finishing well provides completeness and packaging. That packaging – the final report, closing speech, or last team meeting – brings closure. And with closure comes an opportunity to reflect, analyze, and learn.
What did we really gain from the experience? Did we accomplish all that we set off to do? Why or why not? Where did things go right? Where did they go wrong? What did we learn? Where did we confirm things, and where did we learn something completely unexpected? What would we do differently next time? What learnings are transferrable to new endeavors?
That “finish work” is very important. In construction, that’s the only part everyone will notice. More importantly, many aspects of the finish work are only noticed if they’re missing or sloppy – the paint line between the wall and ceiling, the caulking along the trim, the grout between the tiles. Starting out with a solid foundation, good framing, and plumbing and electrical that meets code is crucial, but the finished product requires a lot of attention to many details. And that’s where the game is won or lost in many instances.
Forging through to meet the minimum requirements and rush off to the next job may be a way to maximize productivity, but it’s not a great way to continually improve your work product, to move to higher levels, to hone your skills, to master your craft, to learn and to teach others. To do that, you need to finish well.
Finishing well also brings momentum to the next project. You’re free to let go, to move on (after you’ve answered all the closure questions), and you’re primed to take the new or newly reinforced learnings and apply them to a new endeavor. And that’s a great setup for a good start – and another strong finish.
Photo credit: tristanf