Platespinner

Oops… (image by Chuttersnap, via Unsplash)

I’ve got a lot of stuff going on right now. Two clients, two Town projects (maybe three…), lots of friends who deserve attention, prepping the house for winter… it just feels like there’s a lot of things moving right now, and every time I spin one of them, the others are all slowing down and wobbling.

And today, I dropped one. I hate when that happens.

It was a grant proposal. I’d been after a few people to get me information, and they hadn’t, and I had my attention on other projects with tighter deadlines and so didn’t follow up every single day to find out what was holding them up. And now the grant deadline is unattainable.

One of the most important, and most difficult, skills of management is to build teams and responsibilities among people whom you do not actually supervise. It’s actually kind of easy to be a boss, but it’s a lot harder when you’re working with people who are themselves already really busy with their own jobs in their own organizations. And it doesn’t always work.

A lot of things in life don’t always work. And we have to get used to that. Steph Curry’s on track for yet another MVP season and scoring championship, he’s reinvented the game with his three-point shooting… and he makes about 45% of them. If he misses two or three in a row, he can’t get into his own head—he just has to run the next play, get himself open, and launch another one.

One of my favorite writers put out a new book last year. It’s not bad, but it’s definitely the third best of the three. If it had been the first one, there might not have been a second. Every musician who releases an album with twelve tracks has one or two that just aren’t up to the level of the others. We all just have to get used to coming up short once in a while.

It’s never fun, of course. But it’s absolutely normal. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.