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Prepare To Finish 2018 Strong Using Last Quarter Strategies

Posted by: Eric Cormier on Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Fall is here and that means it is time to make final preparations for the fourth business quarter during 2018.

No matter what your enterprise, thought needs to be given towards your overall business strategy.

The sports world provides some of the best examples of late game strategy because finishing strong is a key to overall success.

Here are some tips to consider from a 2017 article in Forbes magazine entitled “Five Tips To Win Your Fourth Quarter: Business Strategies From The Best In Sports.”

Create Fourth Quarter

Moments All Year Long

“In an interview I had the chance to do with Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll on this subject, he shared that his coaches “press the fourth quarter button” every day.  If a player is on the bench press and is expected to push out 12 reps, the coach standing nearby lets him know at nine that he has “entered the fourth quarter.” If the team is in an hour-long meeting, it is noted by coaches when they hit the 45-minute mark.  The goal, Carroll said, is to make FINISHING something they talk about in everything they do. And the belief is that by practicing the finish on even the minor things, there won’t be such a shock when the critical situations call for a strong finish. Imagine calling for extra focus in the last quarter of your next conference call?!”

Play to Your Strengths!

“In critical situations, do what you do best.  Don't use pressure moments as the stage for trying something you've hardly talked about and rarely practiced.  Basketball legend Jerry Sloan spent 23 seasons as head coach of the Utah Jazz and his teams, led by NBA Hall of Famers John Stockton and Karl Malone, won consistently year after year.  In talking with Sloan, he shared that his team’s success was driven by a hyper-focus in the fourth quarter of going to the team’s “bread & butter play — the pick & roll between John Stockton and Karl Malone.”  While the pressure mounted, the Jazz limited their margin for error and heightened their chance for success by simply playing to their strengths — even though everyone knew what play was coming! So don’t add a “product special” in the fourth quarter that you hadn’t previously vetted.”

Don't Take Your Foot

off the Accelerator!

“The fourth quarter means that your final chance to make an impact on the end result is rapidly approaching.  If you're far behind, you're most likely moving at a fast pace hoping to make up ground. If you're in front, you can't foolishly think that you can just coast to victory.  How often have we heard of teams “playing not to lose"? Learn from them. If you’re ahead on the company scoreboard in the fourth, this is the ideal time to evaluate your status with your clients.  Know your standing with your customers. Be acutely aware of where you are, time & distance, and how best you can press forward.”

Conditioning

“The last quarter requires good conditioning for the long hours and tough conversations that await.  If the first three quarters have left you burnt out, you might need to plan time to rest and recharge.  This should allow you to fully embrace the pressure-filled challenges ahead. San Antonio Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich is the master of heading into critical moments with his team rested and at full strength.  Great teams find the endurance needed to finish strong while other teams fizzle. The greatest teams condition themselves mentally and physically to win in critical situations. Now might be an ideal time for a long weekend, giving yourself a mental break for the final push.”

Create Mini-Goals.

The pressure of performing well in the fourth quarter can quickly become overwhelming.  Rather than focusing on the deficit or the lofty end result, try to find ways to break it down into more manageable or bite-size pieces.  By challenging yourself or your team to execute smaller goals that seem more attainable over shorter pieces of time, you invite the feeling of accomplishment into the workflow.  And you will get that much closer to a stronger finish. By championing each member of the team with mini-goals that ultimately work toward the end goal — and then celebrating them as mini-victories — a pressure-packed fourth quarter can quickly turn into a clutch win!”

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