Friday night lights is in full swing. As the mother of a junior in high school, football has definitely entered our home. Friday nights are about heading to our amazing Dodger stadium or traveling a couple hours to watch our son play. It’s made me think about winning and losing more. I’m focused on the scoreboard, especially on Friday nights.

All of this football talk made me think of wins at work. Don’t we have little wins every day? I certainly feel like we do. It’s the big wins, the memorable life changing moments that create culture. In our field culture is the ultimate “W.”

Like football if there were only one leader on the field, culture suffers. Leadership and the transference of leadership creates sustaining winning teams. Success creates more success. The more we celebrate the wins the more they happen. It sounds so easy.

The grind, though, is much more challenging. It’s showing up to play every day. Its recognizing there are failures, but through those failures we can truly find the most inspiring outcomes. Granted, I’m a coach’s daughter and tend to see life through wins and losses. It wasn’t until I embraced failures as a part of the process that I understood what “winning” really meant.

The game, the work, isn’t always about the final score but the process we live through. The moments of clarity and inspiration that shape us into the leaders we are. Whether you’re are a 17-year-old junior in high school starting on the varsity team or a seasoned professional working in our filed, the ride is worth it, period. The “W” may be numbers on a score board but the experience is the actual “W.”     

Julie Thorson’s “Living Leadership” blog was named the 2016 “Best New Department” Bronze Award winner by the American Society of Health Publication Editors. The president and CEO of Friendship Haven, a life plan community in Fort Dodge, IA. Thorson is a coach’s daughter at heart. She is a former part-time nursing home social worker who quickly ascended the leadership ranks. Now a licensed nursing home administrator, she has been a participant in LeadingAge’s Leadership Academy and LeadingAge Iowa’s Mentor of the Year. She is currently a mentor in Leading Age Iowa’s Emerge leadership program.