Tenacity: Leadership Series Part Four of Seven

Part Four of Seven on Leadership: The Seven Commitments to Answering the Call to Lead

Tenacity! What an unusual word! But I love saying it out loud, and I love it even more when it is used to describe someone. (Especially me!)

You want respect? Develop tenacity, the ability to never give up, be discouraged, or quit. I can think of few greater qualities in a person. Seek the thrill of a challenge.

Tenacity is within every person who has ever accomplished something great. It’s the most important quality of any hero in a book or in the movies. You must enjoy the thrill of a good challenge.

Leaders finish what they start. They finish it even when doing so is no longer convenient and requires some incredible effort.

I found out long, long ago that I simply cannot always be right.  I will make mistakes. I have decided, however, that the mistakes I do make, will always be made in attempt to make a positive difference in the world.  I will never make the mistake of inaction. There is no such thing as failure.  There is succeeding and there is not trying. Each failed attempt is a step toward success. Maybe a tiny step, but a step none the less.

The secret to his success?  Keep trying.  Seek the thrill of a challenge.

The word leader comes from the concept of being out in the front. In fact, one of the oldest leadership principles is: Lead from the the front!  As obvious as this principle is, sadly it is in fact one of the most ignored.

Throughout history the leaders were the ones who led their men in battle from the front, exposing themselves to great danger in the process. Seeing their leader out in the front inspired the soldiers to give their best, extinguish their fears, make sacrifices, and most importantly become a leader themselves.  When one leader would fall, he would be remembered fondly as a legend, and another would rise up in his place.

Typically war is long with many a battle lost. Leaders need tenacity to fuel themselves and those they lead to fulfill the vision, achieve the goal, secure the reward, complete the quest.

Tenacity is the fuel in the belly of leaders.

Tenacity is gained by a true belief in the vision you are leading everyone toward.  You can’t fake that. It’s assisted certainly by confidence and courage, but it also has much to do with personal pride.

Commitment and loyalty are two fading qualities in the modern world.  I think that is why we find tenacity in so few leaders.  We see many qualified men and women give up in the face of adversity because it got hard, it became unpopular, or it was going to take too long.

Tenacity is built with every decision no matter how small.  You discipline yourself into having high levels of tenacity. It’s partly physical; you need to work out. It’s part mental; train your mental endurance. Don’t stop short of any goal no matter how small and you will build your tenacity.

The greatest attribute of tenacity in a leader is that it spreads!

You remember the game Simon Says: everyone does what Simon says to do.  Well, a lot of people think that is leadership.  There is this mentality that whatever the boss says everyone will do.  In reality, everyone does what the boss does.   If the boss comes in early, everyone is a little more willing to do so.  Same thing if the boss stays late, picks paper off the floor, and rewards people for their efforts.  This is also true if the boss comes in late, goes home early, and ridicules.  People do what their leaders do. Don’t quit, and neither will your team.

Develop your tenacity each and every day.

Kelly is an inspirational speaker, author, and artist.


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Kelly Croy is a chalk artist and professional speaker. He has entertained and amazed audiences across the nation including corporations, schools, churches, conferences, and anywhere people come together to be entertained and inspired. Please consider booking Kelly for your next event.