You can succeed in spite of…

I know it is hard to digest that people celebrate in what they believe is your bad decision, flaw or failure. But it is sometimes true. I remember years ago I informed a community leader that I was planning to make a work transition. I was stunned at what was said to me, “You don’t know anything about raising money and you are going to fail.” Unfortunately, I am not paraphrasing.

What a send off. That statement was crushing to hear, but it was also motivating. I rarely go too high or too low, which was an important coping feature that I had to learn.

All leaders have flaws and make less than optimal career or strategy decisions, but the vast majority of us are motivated by our desire to solve a problem and the pursuit of excellence. When you make decisions with imprecise information or inadequate skills you will be criticized. In fact, you will be criticized or counted out no matter what you do or don’t do—so it’s in your best interest to get moving and do something. If you have the right mindset, supportive network and the audacity to persist you will ultimately win. Winning may not look like what you expected, but it will nonetheless be cause for celebration of your vision, uniqueness and ability to overcome. And we wouldn’t be human if it didn’t feel just a little good about succeeding in the face of disbelief.  To change the trajectory of a generation and our region, we need more cheerleaders for those with the heaviest loads so that they know they can succeed in spite “of.”

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