“Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘press on’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” ~ Calvin Coolidge
Perseverance is a key component of leadership, and while I believe it isn’t something you can teach, it is a characteristic you can learn. And it is essential to success.
That said, the desire to persevere isn’t enough. Perseverance also requires application, dedication, and a heavy dose of tenacity.
What is Perseverance?
It is persistent progress in a course of action despite difficulties, roadblocks, or discouragement. As a leader, you cannot give in when met with unexpected difficulty. If you do, there will be collateral damage. You know this.
And yet…you are human. You will face these times and, truthfully, want to give up.
The fact is, the road to success requires the vehicle of perseverance. And you will face roadblocks along the way that will try to stop your vehicle.
What are these roadblocks? And, more importantly, how do you navigate beyond each one?
Roadblock #1: The Propensity to Give Up
The easiest way out of a difficult situation, at least in the short term, is to simply give up – to retreat to our comfort zone. As humans, we are predisposed to avoid pain. Unfortunately, in avoiding the pain of growing, we also avoid the pleasure of success. The number one reason leaders are not successful is simply because they give up too soon.
How to Break Through Roadblock #1:
- Motivate Yourself – Watch someone accomplish something impossible
- Push Yourself – Get up to work out—push yourself physically
- Inspire Yourself – Listen to music that inspires, motivates, and pumps you up
- Challenge Yourself – Go do something hard, like climb a mountain
- Encourage Yourself – Find a friend, mentor, or coach who will both encourage you and call you out where accountability is needed
- Support Yourself – Stay strong by re-energizing your mind, body, and spirit; and keep your head up
Roadblock #2: The Belief that Success Comes Easily
Another major roadblock is entitlement; the belief that you are deserving of the good life without having to work for it. My friend, Larry Winget pays his respects to this idea in many of his books. He has a point.
As with everything in life, there is a spectrum for entitlement. You may not expect to have success handed to you on a silver platter, but you might be thinking it shouldn’t be this hard, either. Either way, it is entitlement.
The fact is, success doesn’t land on our doorsteps. It is earned through perseverance and good old-fashioned hard work.
How to Break Through Roadblock #2:
Dig in and use struggles as a reason to recommit to your goals. Commitment will drive you through the roadblock of entitlement and on to the good life you have worked to achieve.
Roadblock #3: A Lack of Vision
When it comes to goals, individuals who persevere always keep the big picture in mind. They see it, and know what to do or create to keep working towards it.
What is your vision?
Is it to earn money?
This may seem to be the vision. But in reality, money is not the vision, but its predicator.
The real question is, “What is the WHY beyond the money?” That is the vision.
How to Break Through Roadblock #3:
Get to your “why”.
- WHY do you want to succeed in your business and career?
- WHY do you want to lose weight?
- WHY do you want to reach your goals
Pushing through these roadblocks engages and strengthens perseverance. And perseverance, as we’ve noted, is the vehicle to success.
Are you driving the vehicle of perseverance through the roadblocks to your success?
Are you helping and encouraging your team to learn perseverance as well?
Dave Ferguson is “The Leaders’ Coach”, an internationally recognized executive leadership coach, speaker, facilitator, and author. Are you interested in having Dave speak to inspire and motivate your team? “ASK COACH DAVE” at 704-907-0171 or at Dave@AskCoachDave.com.