Sometimes you just make it work
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I ran into my old college football coach the other day and we reminisced like all old, has-been’s do about yesteryear…we scoff about how good the players today have it versus the little we had to work with back in the days. Teams today have the luxury of shoe and apparel contracts that we didn’t. We practiced with threadbare shirts-so thin that you could see right through the shirt when you held it up to the light; we taped up our cleats not because it was the fashionable thing to do, but because they would fall apart during a game if you didn’t; every Sunday the game jerseys were sewn back up-by the end of the season, you had so much patchwork that it looked more like grandma’s quilt than a jersey. Our dorms had asbestos ceiling tiles and nutria rats as roommates-at night you could hear them scratching around and you’d lay in bed hoping they wouldn’t fall through the missing ceiling tiles.
Twenty-three years removed from playing, Coach opened up and told me that he would be on his hands and knees pulling weeds out of the flower bed in front to the field house so that it wouldn’t be an eyesore to visitors. There was no money in the budget for anything-literally. Coach had to dig into his own wallet and give the grounds crew gas money so that they could mow the knee-high grass; some days Coach would have to mow the fields himself before practice. Just before we were to report for the upcoming season, Coach ran around town scrapping up enough money to paint over the rust in the weight room & lay down some cheap outdoor carpet because he wanted it to look a little more aesthetically pleasing to us.
Seeing the disbelief on my face, Coach said, “Sometimes, you just make it work, Marsh.” I had no idea the struggles he and his staff were facing. We had no clue what lack we were dealing with- and he kept us out of it because Coach knew we had a job to do and our only job was to make the grades and play ball…and that we did. I have 3 rings to show for it.
The people you lead don’t need to know all of your struggles. They don’t need to know what you don’t have, can’t do, and have no support of. They don’t need to know all of your struggles because they have struggles of their own and standing around bitching about it won’t accomplish anything anyway.
Sometimes, you just make it work and collectively, as a team, you draw on whatever resources you have and fight to win.
As weak as your struggles make you feel, there’s actually strength within them-not only for you, but for others as well. Struggling develops your sense of competence and confidence. When you’re pushed to the brink-where your only option is to figure it out…you do things that you had no clue you were capable of accomplishing. Every setback increases your resilience…every win forges your confidence and you become an example not only to others, but a higher-level example to yourself.
And when you scrape, stretch, and scrimp to just make it work, you and your team find a way to succeed…because all of you do what it takes to W.I.N.
To do What Is Necessary.
Listen to this episode of The Sales Life w/ Marsh Buice right here.