Persistence And Leadership

Change direction
Image from Flickr Phillie Casablanca's photostream


We live in a world of dichotomy. On the one hand, we are sold a lot of marketing enticements:

  • It is easy
  • Buy now, pay later
  • You can have it now
  • Shop what you are looking for

This may apply to buying a new Kindle on Amazon or even downloading a book when you want it. Amazon already paid the price of persistence and made it easy, convenient and fast. Their systems and platform work behind the scenes with logic, user interactivity and payment processing.

The other side of reality has a different feeling. Being a builder rather than a consumer has a different reality. It is a different mindset:

  • Things don’t work all the time
  • Failure is commonplace
  • You have to think all the time
  • Most of your time is spent in persistence

If what you want to build is easy, then anybody with half a vision can come along and build it also. However, all the ingredients for a successful business or product require discovery, innovation and persistence. Technology implementation, business partners, process engineering and marketing are hard, not easy.

The Ingredients Of Persistence

I think at our core, we all realize many worthwhile opportunities are difficult. It is why few people take advantage of opportunity, much less recognize it. Assuming you want the rewards of building something, here is what the journey requires:

  • Keep your problems. Stop making your problems someone else’s problems. Whiners have a skilled way of pushing their problems on others. Problems are part of life. How you approach and solve problems is the differentiator for the outcomes you experience.
  • Fail forward. When you fail, keep going. Make it about learning and not about failure. Failure is part of the process. Embrace it.
  • Practice patience. Many times answers are not so forthcoming. If you persist, you can start to connect the dots. Keep asking good questions. The universe has a way of revealing answers for the patient, whether through your recognition or someone who points you in the right direction.
  • Never quit. If you believe in a goal you have set, then know it will be hard. Adversity has a way of filtering out those who are not serious about what they want. Your strength of vision and ability to push forward through hardship can never be compromised.
  • Know when to quit. Sometimes the goal changes or the facts are different. Be sensible and differentiate between being bull-headed and persevering.

Our work might be easy when someone else is setting the direction or taking the risk. When you start setting the direction yourself and taking the risk, what I am saying here will have extreme relevance. There is no escaping the critical need for persistence. It is a hinge point of leadership.

Where can you apply this today?

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

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