Day in and day out there are things that need to be started and things that need to be finished (and a bunch of things that need to be pushed along, I know). Starting and finishing are critically important to getting things done. How well do you know which role comes most easily to you?

Starters jump into things at a moment’s notice. They are willing to step away from any task at almost anytime. The excitement of getting started fuels their energy. Clean slates, blank sheets, thinking “outside the box” are all the terms of starters.

On the other hand, finishers finalize, close, follow-up, proof, detail. They push things away in favor of “finishing this thing”.

Looking at this situationally, the housekeeper in the 4 star hotel, the maitre’d at the restaurant and the gardener, play the roles of finishers. When they walk away, the job is complete.

The backhoe operator, the telemarketer, the police sketch artist all play the roles of starters. They start with nothing and generally do not get to a finish on their own.

The world needs both. Your world needs both, probably from you. Without starting, nothing ever moves forward. Without finishing, nothing is ever final. Which do you gravitate to in your work?

Whichever it is, own it. Be great at it. When you need to be the other role, slow down and be deliberate. It doesn’t come “naturally”. The role that comes naturally is easy. But, you need both. Know who you are. Know what you can do well easily and then accommodate for the rest.

Know where your coworkers fall on this continuum, too. How about your clients? Do you know which they are good at or gives them the greatest satisfaction?

One certainty, your professional career, your business and your life will be less than you wish if you don’t start AND finish whatever is in front of you.