What to Do with Momentum

You leave the big meeting or company retreat and spirits are high. You go to a leadership conference and ideas are flying. So now what?

Photo Courtesy Loyola Hoops via Flickr. CC
Photo Courtesy Loyola Hoops via Flickr. CC

Recently I’ve been following the success of a new program from Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY). One of my favorite programs, HOBY helps young people discover their passions and develop leadership through service to others.

All through the event, HOBY participants are pumped up, surrounded by like-minded, driven individuals who have huge dreams. When they go home, though, the students are thrust back into the “real world,” where everything seems ho-hum by comparison. It’s called the HOBY Hangover.

You’ve experienced this, right? You’ve got a great idea, you prepare a great proposal, and then BAM! Your presentation has to wait. You have a meeting with your team, you formulate a plan, you make assignments, and then…everyone goes back to their figurative cubicles.

How do you keep momentum alive? I’ll tell you what I strive to do:

  • Feed It: The simple truth is that momentum naturally slumps off without careful attention. You’ve got to provide fuel by recognizing progress. Feed the momentum first by setting small goals and second by publicly celebrating accomplishment.
  • Lead It: What happens when momentum gets ahead of you? You’re dragged right through the dirt! You’ve got to manage momentum so that you lead the charge or have systems in place that allow you to ride the wave. You may want to delegate or share leadership, spreading ownership of the project.
  • Speed It: Even if you have a ridiculously successful experience and your team’s project or task is complete, have another project lined up to take advantage of the momentum of the team and the chemistry you have built. We judge our experiences by our current expectations; dare to be always moving the bar.

Here’s another key to maintaining or taking advantage of momentum: do something! I’m the world’s worst about planning and planning and planning and having a great plan and drafting an excellent grant proposal and formulating breath-taking scaling schemes…get the picture?

When you leave HOBY– whatever your HOBY is– with a purpose and a passion, act on it. You could write out a plan, but you’ve got one hiding in the back corner of your mind already, right? Make it happen.

If you don’t know how, e-mail me at justinbuck.freelance@gmail.com. For absolutely free, I’ll help you turn a passion into an idea, an idea into a plan, and a plan into a project. No gimmicks or time-share presentations. It’s what I’m passionate about.

Just don’t let that feeling of urgency, that ache to get started, that unstoppable momentum…run and hide when you hit the “real world”.

Are you struggling with your own HOBY Hangover? Take my prescription above and call me in the morning.

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3 thoughts on “What to Do with Momentum

  1. Great post, feeding the momentum with action is so essential. The example of what a leader does can really spread and spark other people to do and act.

    1. Absolutely, Dan! You’ve got to LEAD the momentum. If you’re dragging a leader along, he isn’t really the leader. His title or position might say “Manager,” “Director,” “CEO,” “VP,” “President”…but someone else is doing his leading!

      1. It shows you don’t need a title or leadership position to gain influence and those with one are not necessarily leaders.

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