There’s nothing like a new beginning, whether it’s the launch of an ambitious project with a fresh team or the inaugural week at a new job.

How can a savvy leader harness the energized feeling of such moments? How can a person capitalize on the fresh eyes and open mind most present in the early stages of a new undertaking?

I’ve made an up-close study of beginnings, over decades of leading teams, organizing projects, and helping new leaders craft their strategic vision. Looking back over the years, the successful projects stand out because of they leveraged beginnings with the three simple practices:


Beginnings offer the chance to choose what the new situation means to us, regardless of what came before. “Our director resigned” could mean distress; on the other hand, you could see the director’s departure as a welcome chance to renew your organization’s strategic vision. “I got a new job” may mean a cut in pay, but you might choose to embrace the job as a platform for growing professionally. How will you reframe your situation?


At the beginning of a design project, the start of a new business planning cycle, or when initiating a new donor campaign – that’s when it’s most powerful to imagine the vision that will motivate you, propel your team, and steer toward success. What kind of future inspires you?


A precious combination of anticipation and delicious potential hovers around every beginning. Capture it by taking action, and don’t let overly detailed planning diffuse it. Some of the best practices to get going are to:

  • Take action and learn by doing. If you’re a business owner setting up your website for the first time, get it up and running in “good enough” format. Perfection can develop over time. If you have a new product – get it out there and let customer feedback help you refine it. Action develops momentum, and momentum keeps you fresh.
  • Do the hardest thing first. Distasteful tasks become more so if you put them off, so do them first to keep from stagnating. If you’re a leader who’s missing a key executive’s endorsement, make that conversation happen before any more time goes by. Don’t let procrastination sap the life out of your new endeavor!
  • Have a strategy. There are many paths to reach the same goal, but only a few of those will be best suited to your needs and your situation. Spend enough time to construct a thoughtful strategy, so you and your team can go faster and farther with a mutual focus

When is your next beginning? A project kickoff? A new leadership role? The launch of a new business line? I facilitate powerful and efficient kickoff meetings for projects, initiatives, programs, and other important beginnings. Get in touch to find out how.


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