It’s not that I am so smart; it is just that I stay with my problems longer. ~ Albert Einstein
If you find yourself prone to disillusionment when things go awry, frequently changing course midstream, or losing interest in long-term projects, you may be lacking in the most powerful leadership trait: perseverance. When situations get tough, your organization may lose money, people, and direction.
Alternatively, persevering leaders grow their interests and remain focused on them. Their consistent pursuit of gains moves them through the roadblocks that stymie more passive leaders. When you persevere, you’re not as bothered by setbacks or letdowns. You’re motivated to embrace and overcome them.
Consider the leaders who had a persevering spirit and led their companies through crisis, bankruptcy or startup hardship. Steve Jobs and Lee Iacocca had the stamina to save Apple and Chrysler, respectively, from bankruptcy. Jeff Bezos endured the long startup struggle at Amazon. Dan Hesse led Sprint out of the gaping jaws of killer competitors. Not all stories are this dramatic, but the principles of perseverance equally apply. Every company faces trials that call for persevering leaders.
Persevering leaders stand out from the rest and have a significant impact, usually without commanding the limelight or fanfare. I see it all the time: their energy and attitude are distinct—sometimes refreshing, sometimes demanding. They fall into five categories, each one a vital part of an organization’s path through challenging times.
- The mature, seasoned leader – With age come wisdom, clarity and greater discernment. Generally, older leaders are wiser, steadier, more focused, and experienced with the causes of success (or failure.)
Mature leaders have greater self-awareness. They know their weaknesses and strengths, and how to fine-tune them for specific circumstances. They’re more diligent about making solid commitments and strive for the highest levels of accountability. They act responsibly and do what’s expected of them. They recognize the need for perseverance.
What do you think? Are you prone to disillusionment when things go awry? Do you lose interest in long-term projects? I’d love to hear from you. You can call me at 561-582-6060; let’s talk. And as always, I can be reached here or on LinkedIn.