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.