In 2019, Ugandan Olympic runner Jacob Kiplimo was closing in on winning the 95th San Silvestre de Sao Paulo Road Race in Brazil, and would be setting a new record in the process. But as nineteen year old Kiplimo approached the finish line, he raised his arms a tad early in celebration. Moments later, Kibiwott Kandie passed him to finish first by just inches. So instead, Kandie ended up being the one who set the new race record.
We know what work is. We know how to do it. We know that we like some of it. And maybe sometimes dislike other parts of it. I’ve heard some folks even hate it. And others be obsessed with it.
But no matter your feelings about work, today we are going to look at a philosophical principle that I will refer to as, “Complete Work.”
Now this isn’t rocket science. So you may already have a guess at what that means. But either way, we’ve got to unpack it.
Essentially what we’re looking at is the difference between going the whole distance in a task, project, goal, or endeavor, and pulling up short.
In the race example, the stakes were high. And thus the cost was too. But what about more mundane places?
No need to raise your hands. But among a group of one hundred plus, you can imagine how many of us leave dishes in the sink vs putting them in the dishwasher.
If you zoom in and look at the one time someone leaves the dishes in the sink, what’s the big deal? But I have an assertion. The person who leaves those dishes short of their final destination, does the same thing in other arenas as well.
In other words, the mess may not just be in the kitchen. Perhaps they don’t take other tasks across the finish line.
Because how we do one thing, is how we do most things.
In Elevate, it’s not enough to notice the opportunity to make a referral. Or to write yourself a note about it. It’s not enough to mention the possibility to the person in the chapter who will get it. Or to even just reach out to that potential referral. Complete work dictates that we see it through to the end.
Now, how do we know what the end is? Trying to get it all correct is another conversation for another day. Just consider it’s Mike how a painter decides a painting is finished — you just say it’s done.
But in the meantime, take full ownership of things in your world and I am not joking. You will not be able to avoid creating results.
So put those dishes away. And see those referrals to the end. Enter your closed business. Follow up on those leads that somehow faded away but did not say “no.”
Do complete work.
Do complete work.
I promise, it will work.