Leaders achieve success through their talent, intelligence, flexibility and wisdom. Those who overcome the odds often point to an even more powerful trait: perseverance. Have you mastered the power of perseverance?
As I wrote in my last post, (Developing Godly Perseverance) perseverance can be learned and mastered if you make the commitment and accept the challenge. Learning means taking one small step to become proficient in the next one. No one can change his or her character in one leap. Here are two more steps to master perseverance:
Find your purpose
Many leaders lack purpose and fail to persevere in tough times. Maybe their focus is too narrow. Are you more concerned about your own well-being or the organization as a whole? Are you a limited decision-maker or a grand vision-maker? You have the opportunity to make a significant impact on many levels and on many people. Find your purpose there.
If you can’t find a way to love your work, seek ways to love the results. There’s purpose in adding value, making improvements and growing people. By deciding to be the best at something, you can have a calling with great purpose. Fuel your perseverance with this kind of thinking.
Remember, people are the ultimate “WHY” or purpose. Align your purpose with God’s. God points us towards saving the lost, discipling the saved and helping the most-needy. Finding a bridge into these areas gives you purpose that will not only fuel your perseverance but fuel in forever.
A leader with a critical or pessimistic view will never muster the determination to plow through a crisis. If you lack positivity, you probably feel a force dragging you down, without understanding why. Fortunately, this can be addressed.
Become more self-aware, and catch yourself having negative thoughts or moods. Try to determine why you have these feelings, and create positive alternatives. A seasoned leadership coach (MO Leadership) can be of great benefit. Coaching accentuates the positive and leans toward it. Focus on the ways a situation can work instead of getting mired in negatives.
Foster Perseverance in Others
The best way to help your people persevere is to model optimal behavior. Develop grit and build on it. Use your authority wisely to instill organizational toughness. Developing a culture of perseverance maximizes people’s strengths and pushes them to achieve peak performance. An authoritarian approach is unhelpful, while a coaching, encouraging manner is powerful. Grasp how your leadership style comes across, and adjust to your people’s needs.
Leaders make great strides by helping their people understand that success is an accumulation of many ordinary jobs done well. They push people out of their comfort zones, giving them challenging assignments and timely feedback. Letting staff devise solutions ultimately engages them.
Organizations become persevering machines that weather the strongest storms when leaders build relationships and foster a good work ethic.
The journey of thinking about perseverance has helped me in my work and my leadership. In my next series I will explore: How to Bring Out the Best in People. Hope you join me as I think through the idea.