By Seiki "Stan" Hirota
Originally published August 30, 2019 on LinkedIn
The Toronto Raptors became the 2019 NBA champions, which is the first time in their franchise history and they are the first team outside the US to accomplish this. This was an epoch making achievement, but the road to the top took years. To be accurate, twenty four long years.
No doubt, the Raptors succeeded because of league-defining sportsmanship and athletic talent. But there was also something else, working tirelessly on the court day after day: tenacious effort, unwilling to give up.
A basketball team, like any other sports team or corporate team, is only as good as the effort exerted by every member of the group. This is more than the “whole is greater than the sum of the parts” wisdom. It mean that when you put in tenacious effort, not only do you reach your goals, but you realize a sense of accomplishment much greater than the reward. Here’s what you should know about the benefit of putting in tenacious effort and not giving up.
There’s a Payoff
Yes, the Raptors took home the trophy, but the big win also helped put the careers of several players in the spotlight, recontextualized the team as a competitive threat in the league, and created a region of new fans.
The effort definitely paid off – and then some.
While we’re not suggesting you to take 24 long years to earn a promotion or advancement in your career, we all know that hard work pays off, even if it takes a while. The reward usually fits the effort you put, so this doesn’t mean that you can train to run a 5K, and then dominate an Iron Man race, but you can apply the same principles to both short and long-term goals in life.
Tenacious people are determined, focused, giving, and committed. Most importantly, they keep their eyes on the end result, whether that goal is personal, professional, or a team effort. They understand that there are going to be roadblocks on the way, but they’re willing to stand up against them and always figure out to overcome. Tenacious people give 110 percent, 120 percent, even when the circumstances aren’t ideal. This is the difference between the top performers and the average people.
Staying The Course
You can’t get where you want to be without understanding how to get there. One of the best ways to stay on course is to create a team charter that outlines the work mission and vision, as well as the roles and responsibilities of every person in the group. Even if you’re working on a solo mission, a charter can be the reference point to constantly remind you that you need to stay focused and committed.
Reward milestones, whether that mean a team lunch or a personal prize. Recognition from others, or from yourself, can go a long way to sustain commitment and mitigating burnout. And when something goes wrong, and it will, take time to acknowledge the setback or disappointment.
“Without labor nothing prospers,” said Sophocles, the ancient playwright. Even today, his words ring true. When you put in the effort, there will there will always be gains – and it’s usually more than you imagined.