Where There Is a Will, There Is a Way!

 In Team Performance

Where there is a will, there is a way!

I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to sports. I have my favorite college and professional teams that I religiously support. It’s hard to pull me away to anything else when my teams are playing.

Last month, a good friend called to ask me if I was following Diana Nyad’s fifth attempt to swim 110 miles from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage.

My first reaction was why would anyone want to perform such an epic feat–especially at 64 freakin’ years old! But I politely nixed it because my attention was already focused on the weekend’s football schedule.

My friend was emphatic that I should keep my eye on Diana’s progress, reminding me that everything I appreciate in team sports would be provided in this solo swim: athleticism, determination and a fighting spirit. Plus she was convinced that Diana was going to pull it off this time so it would be history in the making.

I hung up and set a reminder to check Diana’s results on my ESPN app for later that day. Then something made me do a Google search and suddenly an extraordinary story caught my attention.

Diana Nyad had dreamed of swimming from Cuba to Florida for three-and-a-half decades. She first attempted the swim at age 28 with three subsequent failures to complete the swim. With each failed swim she began to question everything and even wonder about the meaning of her life.

What was her turning point? It happened when her mother passed away in 2007. That was exactly when everything just didn’t add up anymore. At some point in her internal questioning she decided: “It wasn’t so much what did I want to do, it was who do I want to be?”

Her Mantra: Find A Way

During her fifth swim, after veering off course and a series of stops and starts that revealed her confusion, she looked up at a white glow and asked if that was the sun coming up. “No,” a team member said, “that’s Key West.” At that point, she had hope. She knew she could find a way to make it through this time because in her other four failed attempts she had never gotten this far.

After completing her swim on September 2nd, Nyad offered three messages to those who greeted her on shore. I see them as valuable leadership lessons that serve us all well.

Nyad’s Leadership Lessons

1. Never, ever give up.

2. You’re never too old – or too young – to chase your  dreams.

3. Swimming looks like a solitary sport but it’s a team.


I think in the process of failure and introspection she did decide who she wanted to be. She is living her life as a positive leader who inspires others to achieve their dreams, live their passions and realize the beauty of successful teamwork.

Now to Your Story

All of us suffer difficulties in our lives, face heartache and wonder if we can ever get around the obstacles to live our best life. Diana found her story, one that we can admire and learn from her success. But now I want to turn to your story.

  • Who do YOU want to be?
  • What sign would give you the hope that you could complete the one race that means the most to you?
  • When you finally achieve that big swim, what lessons will you most want to share with others?

Take some time today to think about your story and the answers to those questions. Through Diana and others, you’ve seen what happens when you have the will to believe in yourself. Don’t give up.

Don’t ever give up.