In last week’s blog post we explored some of the leaders most likely to inherently display a high level of perseverance. They included the positive leader, the purpose-driven leader, and the leader that loves their work. This week we will be exploring how people can develop perseverance even if it’s not something that comes naturally to them. Developing perseverance is something many leaders that come through my leadership programs want to focus on, and they are able to do so successfully if they put in the work.
If you’re a leader who struggles with perseverance, you can adjust your mindset and behaviour. Perseverance can be learned and mastered if you make the commitment and accept the challenge. Learning means taking one small step to become proficient in the next one. No one can change his or her character in one leap.
If you’re a seasoned leader, take stock of your experiences and draw upon what you’ve learned. Try to be more patient with long-term projects, and reject a rapid-reward mentality. Look back over your career and note what has worked and what hasn’t. Learn from past mistakes, and avoid any plans that resemble past failures.
By reflecting on past setbacks, you can see how your worst fears were probably unjustified. Likewise, future setbacks won’t be fatal, and they offer an opportunity to learn and be better prepared.
You’re better positioned to persevere when you rely on what you know to be true, rather than succumbing to feelings that throw you off course. Focus on facts substantiated by your past.
Enjoy your work
Seek work that makes use of your interests and personality traits. If you have a vivid imagination, find a position that allows you to be creative. If you love people, assume a role that allows you to foster strong relationships. If you’re analytical, take a job solving complex problems. Duties that align with your interests and values will fulfill you.
You can persevere when you love what you do. Not every aspect of your job may be gratifying, but if you enjoy your work, you’re more likely to push yourself when circumstances get tough.
If you lack the discipline to stick to plans, you’ve probably encountered difficulties at work. Failing to stay the course disadvantages you and your people, who depend on you to do what’s best.
Develop a contempt for complacency. Leading people is hard work. There are plenty of needs to address, even in highly effective organizations. Maintaining a well-run company takes discipline, and trying to correct a struggling one takes even more. You can persevere with a disciplined approach to your duties. Keep yourself accountable, perhaps with a trusted colleague who holds you to your tasks, to stay on course. Don’t let yourself give up.
I hope these strategies for developing perseverance have given you a starting point for evaluating your level of perseverance and discovering which areas you could strengthen. If you’d like some help developing these skills, the horses and I are here to help you with our leadership programs.