Leadership Scoop! Persistence vs. Resistance
by Kate Nasser |
Persistence is frequently touted as a critical success quality. Babe Ruth’s famous quote, “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up” is only one of many proclamations that has exalted persistence.
Yet deifying anything risks distorting it and that can thwart success.
When we lead teams through change, lead ourselves to business and career goals, or lead our own personal lives, persistence is a tremendous attribute unless it’s actually — distorted change resistance.
There are considerable benefits to seeing the difference. As leaders we are more likely to engage employees in innovation when we persist to a goal not resist new ideas. As business professionals, we need agility as well as focus to reach our vision. In our personal lives, embracing change can lead to a joy filled life; resisting it can be disastrous.
The exalted status of persistence can distort our thinking to believe there are only two options — persistence or surrender. Surrender screams defeat to the psyche. It brings many people to mistakenly persist just to avoid feeling like a quitter or a failure. This is truly an unfortunate choice for there are more than two options.
Instead of thinking, “know when to hold ‘em and know when to fold ‘em”,
We can persist toward a goal by changing the course of arrival. Why fly into a storm when we can go around it and still arrive?
Ironically, persistence to success requires change ability. Let’s not persist in methods and moments; let’s persist in reaching success. We don’t have to walk away; walk another way.
Innovate the approach when the current path,
- Is directly into harms way
- Is truly slowing progress
- Is eroding self-esteem and confidence
- Is against core values
- Is illegal
- Is crushing with negativity
when other paths,
- Can achieve the goal more easily or with unique benefits
- Engage talents more effectively
- Connect with positive resources and helpful people
- Inspire creativity, spirit, and productivity
Question/change the goal when it,
- Blocks a positive future
- Tries to hold onto the past or rewrite history
- Denies or sidesteps the truth
- Points to a far better goal
It is much easier to change a goal or a pathway when we see it as growth instead of failure. Successful people embrace this truth. They lead teams to embrace and develop agility.
They have more than just persistence and diligence. They:
See futility sooner
Quickly learn and correct course
Balance vision between their intuition and what is actually happening
Change course courageously without fear of the short term detour
Have greater desire for success than the comfort of habit
Believe that the opposite of persistence is not laziness
Changing course is not cowardly, lazy, or weak; it is not defeat.
Sometimes it is THE method for reaching success — in business and in life. Meanwhile, inaction can turn change resistors into comfortable sitting ducks for those who are truly persistent in finding success.
Please share: The ONE thought moves you past change resistance to reach success.
From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™
(My gratitude to Debbie Adams, a Twitter colleague, who inspired this post with a simple question about persistence vs. control.)
©2012 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. If you want to re-post or republish this post, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.
Kate Nasser, The People-Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.