Perseverance is about belief…belief that each individual and team can succeed in spite of past performance. Do not fall into the trap of letting past results dictate how you feel about the possibilities of future outcomes. There are numerous examples of people whose superhuman accomplishments define perseverance such as Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Mother Teresa, and Martin Luther King Jr. Most of us, however, don’t expect to be in situations requiring such levels of perseverance. Perhaps we cannot compare our situations with these esteemed heroes, but we will all face circumstances that require us to be our best, and sometimes require that we do whatever it takes!
Do not despair, setbacks are normal. In the long haul, no matter the situation, how you handle setbacks determines your personal happiness and your career success. Learning from your setbacks can help you be prepared to prevent future problems. Who knows, maybe you might even excel when difficult circumstances are threatening.
Remember, being a great leader is not about setbacks. W. Mitchell is famous for reminding us, “It doesn’t matter what happens to us, it is what we do about it that makes a difference.” A leader helps the team get through the tough times. It’s vital to offer support, praise, and encouragement to your team when they are down in the dumps. Keep in mind, at times you only have control over your effort. No matter what you do, you do not control the decisions others make or the results you will achieve. As the boss, you should praise effort and hard work first, recognize improvement and progress second, and ultimately believe the results will come. Have faith in your team so, as individuals, members can believe in themselves.
When a sales team is not hitting the overall goals and individuals are not hitting personal quotas, there is a negative impact on everyone. This is when great leaders choose to persevere.
First, it’s vitally important as a leader to be optimistic and positive at all times. This trait is accomplished by having a steadfast belief that success is coming. You can’t have an off day when your team is at a loss. What a leader says, and how it is said, is essential to fortify the team’s attitude. I believe that cheerleading when a team is up is a celebration and cheerleading when a team is down is perseverance.
Second, reinforcement of progress and improvement is necessary. I caution you, do not wait for perfection, it will never come. If you follow the leadership model that, “the beatings will continue until results are perfect;” you will find yourself without a team very quickly. The problem is everyone will quit, some will go and some will stay but everyone will QUIT! The Gallup Group calls it “disengagement”.
Can you recall a situation that you chose perseverance over emotions? How did you continue through the tough times with your team? How did you define resilience with your team?
“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack in will.”
― Vince Lombardi