Among the many important traits of a leader – such has having a vision, communication skills and an appreciation of human potential – none is more compelling than persistence.
After constant attempts to achieve a goal, a short-sighted leader may give up too soon. With just a little more effort and daring, success could be just around the corner.
Did you hear about the ambitious young man who dreamed of starting a candy company? Working late into the night he’d mix batches of cocoa with a variety of ingredients searching for the ideal tasting chocolate treat. He realized it could take many efforts to find the right combination, so he named the first test “A & A.” When that failed, he went on to test “B & B.” Next came test “C & C.” He believed he was getting closer with each new batch, working his way through the alphabet. But after so many exhaustive disappointments, when he reached test “L & L,” he became so disheartened he gave up. Had he pressed on, his next test would have resulted in a new chocolate favorite, “M & M.”
How about the woman who hoped to start a group of convenience stores? She set up operations up in several locations and named them by the hours of operation. Her first group was called “4 Eight.” This didn’t work. She reorganized and came up with “5 Nine.” Once again, she needed improvements and came up with “6 Ten.” But, discouraged that nothing seemed to work out right, she decided to quit. With just a little more effort she could have discovered “7
Then there was a couple who had automotive skills. They started a car company. Since they loved nature, they thought it would be clever to name the company after the animals they adored. They started with “Llamas.” This didn’t pass the recognition test. Next, they considered some rugged animals, “Tiger,” then “Gorilla,” followed by “Grizzly,” “Ox,” and “Zebra.” Just not right. They moved on to farm animals. “Cow,” “Donkey,” “Sheep” and “Goat” had the wrong image. Despondent by all their attempts, they grew weary and gave up. Had they continued they may have found the “Mustang.”
When to hold on and when to let go can be a difficult decision. This makes up one of the elusive characteristics of leadership – also known as persistence.
Steve Hrehovcik is a freelance writer and artist. His book Rebel Without a Clue - a Way-Off Broadway Memoir is available on Amazon. His website is: www.kennebunkartstudio.com