Leaders have tenacity. Tenacity means you have what it takes to get through ridiculously tough stuff as you strive to achieve your goal.
Great leaders also inspire others to build tenacity in themselves, so that everyone crosses the finish line together.
When you look back at your journey, can you recall times when you pushed through what was ridiculously hard?
If so, I bet you can also identify these two factors:
- Your vision or objective was so inspiring that not doing everything you possibly could to realize it simply wasn’t an option in your mind.
- You took full responsibility for your choices. You do not feel entitled or default to a victim mentality.
As you think of these two factors, do you also remember times where you almost gave up? For most of us, we give up when we are (actually) in reach of our goal, but we just don’t see it. We are tired, stressed, and our goal seems impossible to reach.
It’s not uncommon to have goal-attainment take longer than we’d expected. Often, we don’t know exactly what it will take to achieve that goal when we start; especially when it involves more than just ourselves. And we hate the feeling of disappointment when one more milestone is missed or delayed.
Tenacity helps us keep faith in ourselves and others on this journey.
We must continue to remind ourselves of the two factors listed above: inspiration and responsibility.
Be inspired and inspire others
Not long ago, no one spoke of “passion” in work. That was a word for dreamers, not management. And leaders were management; leaders in authoritative roles aimed at shareholder returns, not leaders with passion.
Being inspired and inspiring others has lived in a similar dreamer-not-manager context.
Do you want to experience being inspired? Do you want to create an environment where breakthrough performance is possible? This requires leadership, and inspiration.
Inspiration empowers you to keep moving toward a vision, even when it’s tough. Leaders search for inspiration and communicate what inspires them in a way that others are inspired.
Take full responsibility for choices made
Is it possible that you have created a context for you or others where there is an expected and easy “out” of responsibility?
Bail outs have been given by parents to children and governments to organizations—quickly putting aside the poor judgments that played a part in the tough situation. Of these individuals receiving bail outs, how many do you know that showed deep gratitude, have changed their ways, or have acknowledged and shared their missteps in a generous pay-it forward way? For those I know, bail outs did not result in happy endings. (If you do have some happy endings, please let me know!)
I am not saying that a bail out policy is always a bad choice. My point is that a bail out is an example of an “out” to a bad situation, and when it is expected that a bail out is always available, then it is unlikely for the recipients to build tenacity. It is unlikely that they will have what it takes to push through times that are ridiculously hard in order to realize a worthy vision or objective.
A leader (based on authority) without tenacity places risk on every person that buys into their vision or objective. An individual without tenacity will likely feel entitled to a bail out, will underperform to avoid risk, or will burn out. None of these bode well for future performance.
What you believe, think, say, and do—especially as the going gets ridiculously hard—is critical to making it though that last mile.
If your vision or objective still inspires you, keep going. If not, have the courage to pivot.