We know there’s really no such thing as an overnight success. In fact, there’s a saying that puts it into a better perspective:  “It takes 20 years to make an overnight success.” The truth is that there’s usually a bunch of failures, little victories, and many obstacles along the way to actual success. When the going gets tough, the successful ones keep going. That’s all thanks to a key leadership trait called perseverance. Let’s talk about building success with perseverance because that’s what it really takes to reach success.

Ways to Find Success With Perseverance 

In terms of leadership traits, there’s one that goes a lot deeper than simply being rewarded by external goals. Perseverance is grounded in intrinsic motivation, a self-belief that drives a person forward through setbacks and failures. Intrinsic motivation is the ability to endure a whole roster of experiences (the good, the bad, and the ugly) in order to fully achieve a goal. According to Healthline, intrinsic motivation is “the act of doing something without any obvious external rewards.” We’ve all got it when it comes to doing the things we love. 

When it comes to doing things we don’t love for a greater purpose, intrinsic motivation is there too. It’s the difference between throwing in the towel after a setback and powering through with a sharp eye on the endgame. 

Perseverance is key to achieving our goals – but how do we get it?  We know that skills can be developed, so what about a trait like perseverance? The answer is yes. It might take a little longer than building a new skill, but it’s worth it – even if it’s not a trait that comes naturally to you. 

5 Tips for Building Perseverance 

Break things into small steps. Instead of trying to tackle one big step (which can make any task seem more daunting), break your task or goal into smaller steps. As you achieve each one, you’re successfully working your way toward the finished puzzle and you’re a lot more likely to persevere through to the end. 

Just go a little farther every day. If you have a goal, build the perseverance muscle by gradually increasing your work by a small amount every day. You don’t have to grow by leaps and bounds in one day. Just tack on a little more and get adjusted to that next level. Then, keep going. 

Give yourself credit for taking the steps, even if you don’t get it all done. Tomorrow, you can do a little better. The important thing is that you recognize that you didn’t meet the goal, but give yourself the little victory for having taken some of the steps. 

Keep track of what works and what doesn’t Are the steps you’re taking getting you in the right direction? How effective are your techniques? You don’t want to keep pursuing and persevering in the wrong direction. Periodically assess your actions so that you can weed out the ones that aren’t getting you closer to your goal. Don’t be afraid to test out different strategies to see if you get any further there. 

Start early. Anytime you’re doing something (especially something new) that requires perseverance, leave yourself the time to let those steps work. You’ll turn in better quality work and you won’t be under pressure to beat the clock. 

Perseverance in Leadership 

When a leader demonstrates perseverance, an organization benefits on every level. Modeling the core value of dedication and resilience – plus creativity and grit – gives the entire team a platform for doing the same.

Finding success through perseverance is a key aspect of honest and inspiring leadership. It’s not something that will magically happen overnight, but it’s worth the effort to build perseverance  Using these tips might help you get closer to your goal of developing this powerful trait. That means you’ll have more resilience when the going gets tough, so that you can accomplish what you set out to do (and grow in the process). 

If you’d like to explore other aspects of leadership style, take a look at our Leadership Style Guide worksheet.

For more advice on leadership techniques that take your leadership to the next level, head to Evil Genius Leadership Consultants for weekly or bi-weekly coaching packages that are tailored to your own unique needs. We offer a free initial consultation so you can spend an hour with one of our coaches and discover if Evil Genius Leadership coaching is right for you.

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