Have you ever wondered why some projects succeed and others fail? A strong indicator of the success or failure of any project or task is the involvement of someone who is dedicated and willing to be ultimately accountable: a champion. This ultimate accountability is something that takes energy, dedication, time, and motivation. There may be many participants on a project and many who may bear some responsibility, but the champion—with this highest degree of accountability—is not so common.

Making Sacrifices

Why is ultimate accountability infrequent? Well, the energy, dedication, time, and motivation used to fuel it usually comes at a cost. The phrase “the buck stops here” comes to mind, because an individual who is accountable for a project or task will be the one who makes sure that every effort is expended to succeed and makes the needed sacrifices to execute those efforts. Most individuals are not willing to absorb the costs of ultimate accountability and make sacrifices to become a champion.

Champions sacrifice their time by being available to others at their own inconvenience or extending their attentive hours to the project rather than themselves. They prioritize the project over their personal needs and may utilize energies that leave little else to fuel other projects in their work or life. This is not to say that every champion neglects and drops everything at the singular focus of their championed project. It is to say that the champion has chosen to prioritize and pour most of their energy, dedication, time, and motivation into something they believe in and take accountability for.

Choosing to Become a Champion

As I use the term “project,” one would infer that it would be something work-related. However, a project can be anything that a champion decides to focus their efforts on. These projects can be work-related, such as creating a business, executing a protocol or guideline in an industry, running a department within a company, or other given duties. But one could also consider family-related projects an opportunity for a champion to take great accountability, such as growing a family, sustaining a marital partnership, guiding the lives of one’s children, caring for elderly parents, or any number of related responsibilities. Of course, any personal project can be championed by an individual, such as one’s personal health issues, chosen hobbies, exercise, and so on. Anything can be given a champion to make sure that tasks get done and someone is ultimately accountable for fulfilling the demands of a project or goal.

To be a champion, one needs to understand, and make, the necessary sacrifices to see a project through to its conclusion. Being a champion may mean that time and energy are taken from other projects, work-related or not work-related, to foster the chosen project. Being a champion is not for the faint at heart. At the end of the day, success or failure hinges upon whether an individual has the willingness to see a given project to its conclusion and ensure that nothing slips through the cracks to precipitate its failure, which takes a significant investment of energy, dedication, time, and motivation. By guaranteeing that all steps correctly fall into place and obstacles or barriers are navigated successfully, one has taken the uncommon position of being accountable and has earned the title of champion. So, ask yourself: Are you ready to be a champion—and, if you are, what would you champion?