The Right Time is Never Right

When we get close to finishing our goals, the final 10 percent of the work is always the hardest to complete. 

In late August of 1776, at the western edge of Long Island (present-day Brooklyn), the American and British armies fought for control of the Port of New York. It was the first major battle of the Revolutionary War.

Unfortunately, it was a complete disaster for the Continental Army as its leader, Gen. George Washington, mistakenly split his troops in two, leaving half in New Jersey. The British at this time were the most dominant army in the world and, with 400 ships, easily seized the port.

To save his men and any hopes of winning the war, Washington organized a retreat along the East River, taking any boats his men could find. The Continental Army moved all of its troops, supplies, horses and cannons north to avoid destruction.

The British had planned to sail up the East River and finish the job once and for all, but because the wind wasn’t traveling in the right direction, they instead chose to stay put, allowing the Continental Army to escape and fight another day. The British were so close to ending the war, but instead opted to wait for “the right time” because the conditions weren’t perfect. Had the wind been blowing in the other direction, it would have been over and the fate of history changed.

How often do we as leaders face a tough challenge when the wind isn’t blowing in the right direction and instead opt to wait for “the right time?” How often do those we lead feel tired and unwilling to push through the hard days claiming they need the conditions to become perfect? As leaders, we must teach our teams that the path of least resistance is never the right one. 

When we get close to finishing our goals, the final 10 percent of the work is always the hardest to complete. As we draw closer to the finish line, we cannot allow complacency to slow us down or convince us that going against the wind might be too tough. 

It’s never easy to finish something hard. Often, the wind will be in our face. When this is the case, we need to mentally prepare ourselves to take on the challenges of right now and not wait for another moment later on. 

Waiting for the right time is never right. 

Today’s Daily Coach is Presented by…

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