I know I’ve mentioned previously that I’m a big football fan. In fact, this season is really the only season where I take time to watch sports. This Sunday, I was lucky enough to have close to two hours to relax and watch; I haven’t yet had much time for that so far this season.
Along with simply enjoying the sport, the experience is made that much better because of a fantasy football league I play in with a number of friends and colleagues. We readily share successes and failures, and though it doesn’t matter, we each hope weekly that we’ll end up in the top spot.
I’m a competitive person by nature, so it is unfortunate for me that this year my team is horrible.
It’s my own fault, really. I drafted based on research, but the mix of my players combined with their bye weeks (weeks when they are not playing), added to a few tough injuries, has made my team fairly non-collaborative.
While they are all from different teams (or most of them are, anyway), it is almost as if they’ve secretly decided that they are going to mess up on purpose, just to result in bizarre weekly losses for me in my league. And, it is quite humbling, as in past years, while I have never finished first, I’ve always finished in the top third of our league.
Reflecting on this after another terrible loss, it made me consider those times in my life when I’ve done the research and planned well, and still had situations where those partners I believed would gel, simply didn’t (for what it’s worth, this lack of “working well together” also seems to some up much of this election season).
One of the things I’ve learned through these types of experiences is that while we can lay the foundation, it is up to our partners and collaborators to work together to build the house. There are only so many initiatives I can take the lead on without sacrificing my own work (I’ve written about this previously), and if people aren’t capable of working together to reach a destination, then sometimes, we have to abandon that trip, or look for another route.
While it is never fun to recognize that a process may not go according to plan because we don’t yet have the right people, it is important to focus on what we’ve learned. I’ve already acknowledged a few bad moves on my part regarding my fantasy team this year, and I know that next year, I won’t make the same mistakes (though I’m sure I’ll make other ones). That’s the thing about learning: we can take all the right steps, and sometimes we get very lucky with how things turn out. Other times, not so. Part of being a leader is being comfortable with the fact that there is always a bit that is out of our locus of control. And those failures, if harnessed right, can make us all the better.