Follow -Through: Landing the Big Jump Requires a Solid Down Ramp

moto cross

The X – Games freestyle moto-cross dude, flying through the air hanging on to the back of his bike, is not thinking what you are thinking.  Somewhere in the back of his brain he is thinking about his landing.  Why?  Beyond the obvious, we humans were never meant to fly.  To do what he is doing 40 feet off the ground he needs a solid strategy to get back down to earth in one piece.  He needs a really solid down ramp.   When it comes to your big events, the moments that really count, are you sticking the landing?  What is the current condition of your own down ramps?

Making a ‘big jump’ in business – big presentation, big pitch, etc. –  is thrilling and rewarding but only successful when we bring the bike and ourselves back to the garage in one piece.  Landing the big jump is all about the landing – the folllow-through and follow-up items.  It’s paying attention to the stuff on the back side of the client meeting, its the last 10 percent of the job.  Global Creatives are not always the best at follow-through.  Like a high flying motorcycle daredevil, Global Creatives can soar through an event wowing the crowd but then miss the landing.  We can’t hit what we can’t see.  Global Creatives with ADHD on board can focus just on the take off (novelty) and the ‘soaring’ part (stimulation for the big event) not thinking about the aftermath.  Business does not take a kind eye to shoddy follow-through resulting in frustration, lack of trust and eventual termination of relationship.

When you turn your attention to your own down ramps you can find innovative ways to get clear of the task without incurring any bumps or bruises.  Successful follow-through leads to successful transitioning to what is next on the list.  Sticking the landing leads to more resourcefulness and resiliency.

Freestyle aerial riders of today can thank Evel Knievel, the high flying daredevil of the 70’s, and his son Robbie for the advances in down ramp technology.  Why?  Because Evel didn’t have great landing success resulting in many trips to the hospital.  Evel seemed to focus more on the take off than the landing.  Any one remember the snake river ‘rocket cycle’ fiasco?  Robbie followed his dad into the family business and wisely learned from dad’s mistakes.  Robbie sticks his landings in part to his skill set but also because he gives the down ramp the respect it deserves.  Today motorcycle down ramps are massive high angle earthen berms that riders can glide down.

Like Robbie, you can put some thought and strategy in how to land the big jump.  Here are some ideas:

“It ain’t over till it’s over”

Extend the project timeline to consider effective follow-ups beyond the big event.  Give time to transition after the event so you can effectively pivot and face the next big jump.  Incorporate follow-up into completion of a project.  Global Creatives see the event but don’t easily see the ramps that lead up to and away from the big event.  Yogi’s words were never so true.

Solid Mechanics : Focus on 2-3 signature ‘aerial stunts’

Less variability in the air (less variability during key negotiations or project steps) means more consistent and fluid landings.  This can also have positive effect on your own personal branding.  It’s nice to be known as the ‘go to guy’ in a certain area.  Bring in improvisation and flair on top of solid mechanics.  Base solid mechanics on your signature strengths and key roles.

Consider making smaller jumps

Before Evel jumped 20 buses he successfully jumped 2 cars.  Dial back the jump size.  Several smaller jumps add up.  Meet with your team more frequently for better accountability.

Locate a down ramp specialist

Evel should have fired his.  Locate a Compassionate Sequential to keep an eye on the back end.  You do not need to be the back end specialist.  But your team does.  This takes a little trust on your part to open up and reveal your not-so-great ramp technology.  Trust that there are some around you who want to see you succeed!

Evaluate follow-through successes and failures equally

When you suffer an epic Evel crash tend to your wounds and then get objective about the whole ‘jump’ process.  Consider what down ramp adjustments need to happen so as not to reproduce the same epic crash.

The more attention you give to the back end of your project the more success you will have through the project.  The more successful projects you string together the more respect and trust you create in your team and with those that matter on the outside.

6 thoughts on “Follow -Through: Landing the Big Jump Requires a Solid Down Ramp

  1. Love this post and the analogy! You have us beginning with the end in mind. I especially appreciate “locating the down ramp specialist” who can be a part of your team. Thanks for helping us think through and follow through.

  2. Ellen
    Your comment is related to the GC habit to want to do it themselves (the Lone Ranger effect). There are lots of capable ‘end in mind’ specialists to help guide the last stages of a project or knock items off the final ‘punch list’. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Once again amazed at how relevant and timely your blog posts remain. I am eager to show Brevard College students your site and help them think about how students identified as having ADHD need teacher advocates who will help them focus their Global Creative potential. Thanks for the inspiration and wisdom.

  4. Great post. It aint over til its over – and even then, it still aint over! This leads me to think about how important it is to think not only about the landing, but the jumps (big or small) you will take after the landing – the goals that will follow on after a big goal is achieved. Love the idea of a Compassionate Sequential to watch the “back end” while you are landing, a great coach is certainly one of these.

  5. Thanks Megan.
    Informed teachers can make a huge difference in the daily experience of a child with ADHD. Understanding that the challenges are more mechanical in nature and less related to willpower can convey a powerfully positive message to the kids. “Let’s together discover your own unique ‘on/off’ switches to transition from one action to another!” can be an amazing experience for the child. We know the power of the ‘charismatic adult’ for kids at risk.

  6. Nicely said, Andrea. It really is about the next jump after the last landing – effective transition and building to a bigger completion. I originally hired my first coach Russell Colver because my down ramps were in shambles creating ‘yard sales’ every time I tried to complete a big project. They left me exhausted with my stuff strewn all over my office and brain. It would take 2 days to recover and reassemble my ‘bike’ to jump another.

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