Every student leader gets one year and then they leave their position. Every student leadership position comes to an end. Outgoing student leaders pass the baton to the incoming student leaders. But just like many relay races, the passing of the baton can be a tricky thing. Some student leaders may leave before their year is over. They may find the task and position too difficult. Or the excitement wore off. They simply set the baton down and walk away.
Some student leaders leave better than others. Finishing strong means you see your student leader year through. You work right up until the end and place the baton in the hand of the incoming student leader. You walk away from your student leadership position and on to the next thing in your life with confidence and no regrets. You gave it your all. You finished your chapter in the story with a terrific conclusion. You leave having learned some things, accomplished some things, and worked to make it the best year ever.
What’s unique about the student leadership experience is you get one year. Whether or not you choose to use the entire year is up to you. Some student leaders check out early. Some aren’t able to keep their commitment to the very end. And they miss out. They miss out on celebrating all they accomplished with their teammates. They miss out on equipping and training the student leaders who will follow. They miss out on completing what they started. They miss out on the rewards that come with finishing strong and end up with the regret of what might have been if they just stuck with it.
“If the word quit is part of your vocabulary, then the word finish is likely not.” -Author Unknown
You have a choice to make. You can finish strong or you can finish wrong. Everybody finishes. It’s just a matter of how you do it.
People remember how you end.
Watching someone lead is a lot like watching a cross country race. There is excitement at the beginning and everyone is fired up. Then the runners fade off around the first turn. The spectators don’t see the sweat and effort that’s left on the course. They don’t see the missteps and the mishaps. But as soon as the runners start to appear near the finish line, those who are watching start to get excited again. They cheer for those who are crossing the finish line. They cheer because their runner finished.
People tend to remember the start and finish of things. They don’t see all of the stuff that happens in the middle (even though it’s important). If you end strong, with effort and integrity, people stand up and cheer. Ending well is the completion of your commitment. The way you end may not be the only memory people have of your leadership, but it will be the most prominent.
In the next post, I’ll provide you with some practical ways you can finish strong and not finish wrong. In the meantime, I invite you to leave a comment in answer to this question: What keeps a person from finishing strong?
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