Leadership: Persistence vs. Distorted Resistance to Change
by Kate Nasser |
Leadership: Persistence vs. Resistance to Change
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.
When we lead teams through change, we hope that everyone will persist through tough times. Persistence is a tremendous strength — unless it’s actually distorted change resistance that blocks success.
Seeing the difference minimizes this risk. As leaders we are more likely to engage employees in innovation when we persist to a goal not when we resist new ideas. In business, we need both persistence and agility to reach a vision.
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 succeed when we …
Persistence: Perseverance Not Stubbornness
We can persist toward a goal by changing the course of arrival. We don’t have to fly into a storm. We can change course, go around it, and still arrive!
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; we can walk another way.
Innovate the approach when the current path,
- Is directly into harms way
- Is truly slowing progress
- Is eroding morale 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 path 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. 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
Sometimes changing course 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 both persistent and agile in finding success.
From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™
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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.
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