The Messy Business of Success

Success is rarely a linear straight line. Often a straight line is how I think success should be, but then the “real world” sets in, and I realize success is often muddy. In the midst of daily life there are setbacks and many, many challenges. It’s in these times that we must continue to move forward. I recently read one of the best examples of this:

On June 4, 1940, during the early days of World War II, Winston Churchill made a powerful speech to the British Parliament where he articulated the British people’s resilience in the face of the Nazi onslaught.

“We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender…”

It was Churchill’s stubborn resilience, and his ability to communicate it to the British people, that set the tone for British’s willingness to stand up to the evil aggression of the Nazi’s and their allies. This personal quality of Winston Churchill is what we, in Worthington, call “Professional Will”. Professional Will is the ability to face and fight through adversity, to overcome obstacles, and continue to work without giving up.

This personal quality is important for Worthington Schools administrators and teachers because working in Worthington, like working for any organization, has its ups and downs. We’re an organization of people serving people, so there are difficulties and frustrations that need overcoming and which creates the necessity to be resilient. That’s why our staff, though not needing to be Churchill like, does need to demonstrate his Professional Will.

In August our administrators talked about the messy process of success. As we come close to our school year’s mid-year it is probably time to review this again. “Grit”…”Resilience”…”Professional Will” all qualities we value in Worthington Schools. All qualities needed to be successful in this workplace or any other.

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