This week we’re discussing the P in our COMPASS model: Persistence. Let’s first define it: persistence is the quality of continuing steadily despite problems or difficulties. Synonyms for persistence include perseverance, determination, doggedness, diligence.

It takes the hammer of persistence to drive the nail of success.
–John Mason

Would you consider persistence to be one of the qualities you exhibit? Would those you work with agree with your answer? Why do you think persistence leads to success?

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#6 in PeopleTek’s COMPASS Series: Persistence

Persistence is a behavior exhibited by owners and effective and successful leaders!

How often have you worked on a project, task force, or making a goal a reality, where all objectives were achieved with absolutely no difficulties or problems?

Even the simplest objective may encounter problems and barriers. Expect and plan for obstacles and don’t give up at the first sign of difficulty. It’s important to maintain your focus and be purposeful in your efforts. Accept that not everything goes as planned!

Abraham Lincoln is the ultimate example of being persistent before achieving success:

1832 Lost job
Defeated for state legislature
1833 Failed in business
1835 Sweetheart died
1836 Had nervous breakdown
1838 Defeated for Speaker
1843 Defeated for nomination for Congress
1848 Lost re-nomination
1849 Rejected for land officer
1854 Defeated for U.S. Senate
1856 Defeated for nomination for Vice President
1858 Again defeated for U.S. Senate

That’s quite a timeline! Lincoln could have easily given up and not pursued his dreams and goals. Instead, he relentlessly overcame obstacles, objections, and the disdain of many peers. Bottom line: he never gave up and to this day is one of the most respected leaders in the world.

The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure.
–Sven Goran Eriksson

When a problem, obstacle, or difficulty is encountered, brainstorm possible alternatives; ask “what could have been done differently?” How accepting are you of input provided by others? Are you willing to help others identify possible solutions when they encounter roadblocks?


Effective leaders need to demonstrate competence in a number of key areas. Developing these abilities — and acting in accordance with them – requires focus, tenacity, and persistence! That’s why effective leaders never give up or give in when the going gets tough — as it often does. Click here to read more.

Recommended reading:

  • The Power Of Persistence, Justin Sachs
  • Nelson Mandela: A Life Of Persistence, Jennifer Boothroyd

Successful leaders are clear about what they want to achieve and persist until desired results are attained. Are you persistent about obtaining your goals and dreams?