Everyone Needs A Success Champion!

“No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship.” – James Comer

The late Rita Pierson, professional educator, and Ted Talk speaker stated that every kid needs a champion. In her Ted Talk,  she told the story of a student that missed 18 out of 20 questions on a quiz. She circled a big +2 on his paper. The student asked Ms. Pierson if it was an F and she said “Yes, but you are on a roll. You got two right, and you didn’t miss them all. And next time, when we review this, won’t you do better?” The student responded with “Yes, I can do better.” Rita asserts, -18 sucks the life out of you, and +2 says “I ain’t all bad.” She was a champion for that child and offered a perspective that lifted the child up versus pushed him down.

I believe every staff member needs a professional success champion that’s always willing to ensure you see a +2 instead of a -18 as you grow.

Everyone wants to succeed. For one reason or another, some of us lose our way. A success champion picks you up when you are down, pushes you to think differently, laughs with you, shares ideas, lends a caring ear, helps you learn from your failures and shares their own. This relationship catalyzes growth and innovation. Success champions scale. If everyone has at least one, each person’s professional practice improves. If you read the blog post about the Meraki group, members are each other’s’ professional success champions. As I interviewed Meghan Treglia, Stacey Reeder, and Kim Grubich, I knew this is what they provided for one another.

Do you have one? I have many professional success champions but two I interact with almost daily, Natasha Adams and Meghan Lawson. The interaction with these two well-respected, professional, intelligent ladies fuels me. The day-to-day empties your gas tank. It is important to fill yourself back up, intentionally. I believe at the core of my being; these two ladies want me to succeed as I do them. Blogging has been a new venture for me and one in which I’ve fallen in love. Their encouragement helped me push through my initial vulnerability. Here’s an example of texts I receive from them about my blog:

The first time Meghan read my blog,  I received a text that said, “Girl, that is crazy good!” She consistently gives me feedback, cites examples of what works in my blog, and pushes me forward.

My heart smiles. Fuel.

Natasha sends me articles, books, and blog posts and says “thought of you…for your blog.”


She sent me a text, just yesterday, that said, “I’m in awe. You are on fire.” 


My success champions are well aware that publishers aren’t knocking down my door (yet!…innovator’s mindset!). However, they know, I’m learning and trying to improve. My heart is in it, and therefore, they support it.

Professional feedback from someone you respect is weighted feedback. It means more and offers greater influence on your actions than receiving feedback from someone you hold in low regard. One of my favorite sayings is behavior breeds behavior. Surround yourself with your success champions, and you will grow. There are energy vampires out there that focus on the negative (-18). Minimize your time with them.

If I had to bet on a practice that works, I’d put all of my money on success champions. It scales, it is free, and it works.

The video below always inspires me…Rita Pierson