How Persistence Makes Leaders Winners

by Wayne Sharer

International speaker, author, and entrepreneur. Retired navy officer, former commanding officer. Over 35 years of leading, coaching, mentoring, and speaking.

July 5, 2018

One “pet peeve” of mine is the significant difference between being a leader and a mere manager. One of the keys to this contrast is persistence.

Look around you and see if this true.

Managers do have a type of persistence. It’s a persistence in keeping everything running smoothly with few roadblocks or major changes. In the short-term, this is good and stabilizing. Do you agree?

But for a leader that wants to consistently win, persistence is far more reaching and powerful. A leader uses persistence to achieve strong, dynamic and enduring change.

The change may be in the form of growth, the way you organize, or the goals you seek to achieve. It rarely has anything to do with the short-term focus of managers.

The anticipation of something bigger, better, and more far-reaching being achieved is the motivation for this persistence. Leaders don’t just see big goals ahead. Leaders truly anticipate achieving those goals, however long it may take.

Managers do have anticipation, but not at the same level as leaders. When things get too difficult, managers tend to go with “what works.” They stick with the status quo. Thus, managers have a limit to their anticipation.

Leaders live for the anticipation of achievement. This drives a level of persistence that creates incredible outcomes that only true leaders can achieve. Persistence of leaders not only makes the leader better, it makes all those being led better as well.

Take a moment in think back in your life for something that maybe just a tad more persistence would have led to significantly better results. Even great leaders can think of something like this.

Now, imagine what a little more anticipation of the “better result” would have done for you and others. If you can’t think of something, you likely are not a big thinker and give yourself too much credit for being right. You may also be guilty of not being even a good manager if you cannot think of anything like this.

In the future, think of what can be achieved. Imagine the possibilities and choose the one you want to be most persistent with. It will be the one goal you anticipate the most will do the most for you and others. It won’t be something selfish.

Persistence simply makes you and me better.

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