Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. ~Calvin Coolidge
The power and force of water is one of the most creative and destructive forces in nature. While it may seem soft and inert when in a glass, a flowing stream or a waterfall can easily carve out deep valleys and erode cliffs. Water has an inherent and unstoppable determination to move to ever lower levels, following whatever path will take it steadily downwards. And water moving downwards is relentless. It just keeps moving and in the face of an obstacle simply seeks a way around or through.
A great example is the Grand Canyon in the southwestern United States which was created by the force of flowing water over thousands of years. Huge cliffs and valleys were formed by the simple force of flowing water.
How about your leadership team?
Does your leadership team have the stay power and dogged determination of water? Or do they seek the easy way out and then give up when faced with marketplace obstacles or new competitors? I have watched many business leadership teams get all fired up over a new strategy or an infusion of capital from investors, only to wither and start complaining at the first sign of difficulty.
“We didn’t plan for this severe a market downturn! Our strategic assessment didn’t take into consideration these economic sanctions. These aren’t the same competitors we built our business plans around.”
Few leadership teams believe so much in their products, their purpose and each other’s skills that they, like a flowing stream, never give up. Most collapse at the first difficulty.
But teams that believe in each other and their fundamental purpose that, like a stream facing a rock wall, they simply keep searching for a way through. They find the crack that becomes a seam that with the pressure of determination becomes a rift and then a passage. They don’t wait for the market to change, they find a way through the obstacles and barriers. They have determination and commitment and they either find or make a way through the barriers. They never give up.
Never give up; for even rivers someday wash dams away. ~Arthur Golden
Written and Posted by: John R. Childress
Senior Executive Advisor on Leadership, Culture and Strategy Execution Issues,
Business Author and Advisor to CEOs
Visiting Professor, IE Business School, Madrid
John also writes thriller novels!