Chapter 11Keeping on Track

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

—Winston Churchill

John said he felt like a broken record. He couldn't count how many times he felt he had set clear goals, given direction, and had everyone agree on the tasks and on who was responsible, only to find that projects had slipped through the cracks, resulting in nothing even close to the expectations originally set. As a desperate measure, I got the phone call that John needed help.

We met early one Monday morning at a local coffee shop, so he could keep this meeting confidential from the rest of the company. The last thing he needed was people distracted and buzzing about this. As he shared the details of countless situations that all sounded exactly as he had first described on the phone, I could tell he was frustrated and feeling defeated. I couldn't help but wonder what domino effect this might be having on the team.

When John had vented all he needed, I replied, “It's got to be frustrating when you put all that effort into it and it doesn't work. Let's probe just a little more and see if we can find some areas that perhaps were missed. Would you be willing to do that with me?”

John was more than willing—I think he would have supported that coffee shop all day if I would have stayed with him. But we didn't need all day to figure out what was missing. John had done a great job of creating a vision and goals that people were excited about. He did ...

Get Leading with GRIT: Inspiring Action and Accountability with Generosity, Respect, Integrity, and Truth now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.