Do You Lack This Must-Have Characteristic?
The most common reason for failure will surprise you. It is not moral defect, lack of vision, or the absence of skill. We focus so much on integrity, vision, and skill that you might think those are the only things that matter in leadership, or that they guarantee success.
They do not.
Yes, a strong sense of ethics, a clear direction, and the ability to lead are vitally important for any endeavor. But, they don’t make you a leader.
That’s because at some point in every venture, you will face an obstacle that no plan or skill set can overcome. You will be tempted to quit, and you will need one more thing: perseverance.
If it hasn’t happened yet, you will face a moment when all seems lost. You lack funding, you’ve had a major setback or lost a key staff member. You now wonder whether success is possible. A thousand voices tell you that it’s not possible. There is no clear pathway to victory. You can’t succeed.
Integrity won’t overcome that hurdle. You can’t plan your way through it, and there is no skill involved here. You simply need to keep going.
I’m convinced the main reason people fail in business, in ministry, and sometimes marriage or personal life is because they give up hope and quit too soon.
How do you avoid such? Remember these key principles.
Obstacles Are Normal
There is no such thing as a steady growth curve. There will be dips in every road and valleys—sometimes canyons—on the far side of every mountaintop. Expect this. Do not become discouraged when things become more difficult. This is a normal part of the journey of a persevering leader.
Critics Produce Nothing
When you face setbacks, critics will loudly proclaim, “I told you so!” Don’t listen to them. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “It is not the critic who counts; nor the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena . . .”
Don’t listen to the voices who tell you it can’t be done. See for yourself what’s possible, and find a path forward.
Breakthrough Often Follows Failure
It may sound like a cliché, but it’s true: The night is darkest just before dawn. The biggest breakthroughs often follow significant failures. There’s a reason the Wright Brothers chose the sandy beaches of Kitty Hawk to test their flying machine. They knew they could possibly crash. But that didn’t matter. They rebuilt the machine again and again, and became the first to fly.
Keep going. You may be down now, but you may also be on the verge of your greatest achievement!
What about you? What’s your best advice for persevering through setbacks and failures? Share your answer on Facebook or Twitter.
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With more than 40 years of leadership experience, Stan Toler knows what it takes to empower people to reach organizational and personal goals. He cuts through the mystery and confusion and provides clear guidelines to help you accomplish vital leadership tasks, including…
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