I have always been a big fan of making a quick start and getting ahead of schedule. Whether it be in sports, life or projects I have always been a fan of getting ahead, building up some momentum rather than taking it easy and then trying to catch up later on. In my experience, the quicker you get ahead of schedule and show progress the higher the probability of success.
Here are 5 benefits that I believe this give you.
Helps build self-belief and confidence
By making a quick start and getting ahead of schedule it shows your team that they can do this. It builds confidence in the plan, belief in your leadership and self-belief in the ability of the team to be able to do this. Confidence and belief are critically important components for success so the earlier you can achieve them the better the results will be.
Early success helps us to establish a rhythm and create some momentum that you can look to use to motivate the team. Once you have built up momentum it's much easier to maintain it than it is when you need to catch up and come from behind schedule.
Allows you to cruise to victory
It's a lot less stressful when you're ahead of the curve as this can allow you to cruise to victory. It doesn't require long days, weekend working to get back on track and try and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. This is much healthier, and better, for the morale of the team and their work-life balance.
Creates some additional contingency
There are always going to be issues that crop up, and in my experience, these tend to come up at then end, and if you haven't built up some contingency, then they can actually derail you and stop you from achieving the results when victory is within grasp. By creating some slack in the plan, it gives you the opportunity to be able to handle any last minute hiccups and still be successful.
Helps to achieve stretch goals
When setting targets, I always like to set stretch targets, often around 20% above the target.
There are a couple of reasons for this.
1) If you shoot for the stretch target and miss, you have a much better chance of hitting the target, and
2) it shows your team that you have confidence in them not only achieving the target but also achieving more. If you start hard and get ahead of schedule, it really helps you to get to the stretch target which is then a great achievement.
If you don't get a quick start then you can suffer from the opposite effects, it can impact morale, hurt the confidence of the team and then have them working long hours and weekends to try and catch up and hit the targets. And teams that are low morale and confidence and overworked are less likely to be successful.
So if you want to hit your goals, or maybe even achieve your stretch goals, make sure your team starts strong it will give you a much higher probability of success.