How would you describe your environment as you head into year-end?

SmartPulse -- our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership -- tracks feedback from over 240,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our newsletter.

How would you describe your environment as you head into year-end?

  • We're coasting and slowing down: 19%
  • It's about as busy as it normally is: 48%
  • It's a mad dash to the finish: 34%

More sprinting than striding. Almost twice as many of you are feeling the year end push as are those who are coasting into the finish. If you’re sprinting, ask why. Is it an artificial set of numbers? Are those numbers driving good or bad decisions. Things like end of year discounting just to hit a budget number can make the hole you dig for yourself next year that much deeper. If you’re slowing down, what opportunities are you missing? Which customers are you losing to your competitors who are hustling? While the temptations to speed up or slow down make sense given the holidays and budget dynamics, think about where you want your business to be on Jan. 7 and plan for that destination instead.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS. Before launching his own company, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He's the author of three leadership books: "One Piece of Paper," "Lead Inside the Box" and "The Elegant Pitch."