The runners rounded the final turn and headed into the home stretch of the 800M race at the 1972 Olympics in Munich. Dave Wottle, whose trademark white golf cap made him easy to find in the pack, was so far back it looked impossible for him to even place. I was just a kid, watching the race on TV with my dad. He said, “Don’t count Wottle out, he’s got an amazing kick.”
I snorted, “Yeah right, Dad. Look at how far behind he is!”
Jim McKay echoed the warning, “Stand by for the kick of Dave Wottle. If he’s got it, he could make it!”
Then I watched in amazement as the skinny guy in the white cap passed every runner in the final 100M to take the gold medal! My favorite part was Wottle’s face after he won… as if he was saying, “Yeah I did it. What did you expect?”
I thought to myself, “What the heck is a kick and how do I get one?!” Was there something about seeing that finish line that made him suddenly come to life?
Have you ever performed better when the end was in sight? I’m talking about closing sales deals before the end of the month, delivering a project by the due date, or finishing your article by the publishing deadline. There’s a rush of adrenaline and a sharpening of focus when the day of reckoning is near. You kick it into high gear, and give it all you’ve got to the finish line.
Wouldn’t it be cool to call on a kick whenever you needed it? Maybe use a few mini-kicks along the way so you’re not stressing so close to the due date? I’ve started breaking down big goals into sub-goals with immovable deadlines. It helps me celebrate more often and space out the adrenaline surges.
The same goes for getting your team to kick. Set up short-term mile markers with imminent dates to get them focused. Then cheer them on as they pass each one.
Don’t let your goals float out there too far. If you set up a finish line you can see, you may get a “kick” out of it. It’s your call on wearing the white golf cap.