The Perseverant Prospectus


Effective leaders are perseverant. They show extraordinary effort when future outcomes look impossible to others. They are as strong as Chuck Norris doing pushups; they push troubles down, instead of problems pushing up at them. If you tell them no, they ask how they could do it better.

A perseverant leader is skilled in the art of diplomacy.  They focus on both sides and positions. They know when to push to have their points known, and when to inspire others to join them on the wait for the timing to be right. This kind of leader sees a “No” as a “Not right now.”  They will watch and wait and continue to gather supporting information.

They define the light at the end of the tunnel.  They display strength and fortitude. When things get tough, they dig into the problem. Rejection is not an option; it’s just a delay until another solution is possible.

Effective leaders focus on the end goal, and they keep the end in sight. They don’t give up trying to find a better solution or method to achieve success. They respect boundaries and behave with integrity to soft sell their position by sharing information so that everyone can make informed decisions on their own. They adjust their sails when the wind isn’t blowing. They will team with others that may have another perspective to share with them in attempt to tackle the problem.

The perseverant wait for good timing.  When the time is right, they hit the ground running to work on the solutions they couldn’t push through before, and had the patience to wait on. Their challenge is knowing how to keep their drive in check so as to not alienate who they need to partner with to enact their solutions.

They see problems as fuel for creativity. They don’t quit:  obstacles that cause delays give them opportunities to partner with others to find ways to work around or through barriers. They balance their time by participating in delegation, mentoring, and teaming with others.

Obstacles are not the end of the line. They know that there are plenty of other “Yeses” out there and they work to find them.  They roll up their sleeves and dig in.  A good leader partners with others, hones the gift of collaboration, and does not feel threatened by it. The resulting benefit to leaders is:  they will gain more people like them to further their mission.

They don’t take rejection personally. They don’t process the word “Never”. To an effective leader, it means “Adjust your proposal and we’ll look at it again.” Leaders who possess this entrepreneurial quality wait while the wind isn’t blowing. They either adjust their sails by repacking their material, or float for a while and enjoy the ride. They know they can’t control the wind, and are the first ones to put up their sails back up at the sign of opportunity.

Tary Paris is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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Francesca El-Attrash

Tary, loved the analogy of the perseverant leader, especially the Chuck Norris reference! Creative way to express these important points.