In the moments before the launch of an event or project, I’ve heard Anita repeat a sort of pep talk with the team at hand. It always comes during the inevitable scramble that occurs as a project comes to fruition.
During this speech she reiterates the purpose of the activity, project, or event. She also tells the team that she’s intentionally pausing on politeness during this last-minute crunch. From that moment until everything is running on its own, the team will not hear Anita say please or thank you.
This speech marks a moment of distinction when the project transitions from planning to execution, when the team moves from preparing to doing. At this moment, Anita shifts her role from relationship manager to focused executor. Declaring this small, but philosophically significant juncture, gives her the critical permission to “go,” and signals the team to do the same.
Moving from planning to execution is THE pivotal moment in a project. It requires a shift in mindset, from brainstorming to implementation. This shift demands focus, adaptability, and resilience, as unforeseen challenges are inherent to every project. This is when the vision, once confined to plans and documents, steps into reality.
At “go” time, when Anita asks or signals a team member to do something – whether it’s moving chairs or ushering a speaker to the stage or confirming tables are set – she means for them to do it immediately, without question or debate. The decisions have already been discussed and made in the planning phase. Now it’s time to move.
Anita often describes the transition from plan to execution as an exercise in courage. We step into the unknown with confidence, trusting the groundwork has been laid and believing in the team’s abilities.
I think the speech works for Anita, in particular, because she lives authentically in a spirit of gratitude and openly shares her appreciation for those she leads on every project. The “thank yous” and “pleases” have already been exchanged. She builds trust among the team members during the planning phase so when she gives a directive, those missing “words” are only that – just words.
The feeling of respect remains. Only the words are put on pause.
Your partners in leadership.