As a Champion, you signed up for something you knew wouldn’t be easy.

Frustrations large and small are part of the landscape. Very few setbacks actually amount to the game being truly over. Until the highway gets built through your beloved park or the wrecking ball brings down your 100-year-old building, there is time left on the clock and plays to call. You may be waiting for a city councilperson to call you back before you can move forward on a given sub-goal of work.

Okay, while you wait, make progress on something else.

Talk things through with another member of your group. Champions take on multifaceted projects that can take years, and progress is often made in one-inch moves forward on hundreds of sub-goals. This alone can seem daunting at the outset, but Champions don’t think about this at the outset. We act because we have to. Someone has to and, since no one else is, we must. We don’t stop to think about what comes next until we have to, especially early on. When you reach a point of frustration, it can be helpful to reflect on the successes and setbacks of the past. Your mind may automatically conjure these up, especially when one setback reminds you of a previous one, or you’ll trip over an old email that reminds you of a problem that seemed unsolvable at the time. But you’ll smile as you remember how you worked through it.

Herein lies the strength of the group.

No one person is going to have it together all the time. We have ups and downs, and competing priorities will demand your time. When I am at my lowest or most tired, it is then that I remind myself that I only have to do my part. It’s about then that someone else on the team breaks through on another front. How wonderfully encouraging it is to realize that one of your team members has completed a project within (a business plan, a statistical analysis that supports your argument) or made a key connection at a mixer. Without any effort on your part, the group moved forward. You will be the energy person at another time when your teammates are low and think your group is in a rut. Once your teammate produces a piece of work, you read it and it dawns on you that this is the perfect backgrounder document to send to that journalist you were pitching on writing a story. That key connection your friend made is the exact person you need to get you a meeting at the foundation. Little by little, you move forward. A Champion is self-confident and endowed with great gifts, but he is not a one-man show. Champions know they have equally powerful Champions on their team, and they take turns giving the effort fuel, work and enthusiasm to carry it forward. Your team is like a basketball team viewed over a season. One night you might have the hot hand. Your teammates will feed you the ball and let you fill up the stat sheet. Other nights your mojo isn’t working perfectly. You crash the boards, play hustle D, scrap for 50/50 balls and try to contribute in different, smaller ways.

Your teammate might be the one to carry the scoring load.

No NBA team goes 82-0.

There will be nights you lose a game, but the season is long and defeat teaches us in ways that success can’t.

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