The second half of leadership
The second half of my 5k run each morning always requires more effort than the first. Indeed, I hardly think about feeling tired at all until sometime after I've past the halfway post which I noticed this morning is the only indicator I have for the first 3k. Thereafter I have several, five to be precise, points that I note with increasing pleasure as I tick them off on the home run.
This observation reiterates to me that leadership is more necessary in the later stages of a project than the earlier ones. Sure the direction and goals need to be defined and agreed however once people have a general sense of the desired result and the guidelines around how they can achieve it, often they can be left alone during the early phases as typically they'll be full of energy and excitement. It's during the hard yards, some time shortly after the halfway point, that the leader's input, encouragement and reinforcement of the purpose is so valuable. Many projects that fail tend to do so halfway through in my experience, perhaps if leaders planned to step up their involvement at this point they would see a much higher completion rate.