The truth is that persistence and drive override skill. When people say “no,” it’s a “no” for now. It doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t come back with a new approach. One CEO told me, “I always give ‘no’ as the first answer, and only if they don’t give up but have the confidence to persist and come back at me will I believe their conviction.”
Being a self-starter is the same as being the last to quit, give up, give in, and sign off. Nothing ever happens unless one initiates and keeps trying what was started.
There will always be endless reasons to cave in “this one time” because you are tired, sick, mad, put down, challenged, threatened, beaten, or bullied—or whatever other reason you give yourself. Stick to it. Don’t give up, walk away, or abdicate your promise to yourself.
When you try something that doesn’t work, try it again, in a new way, and if that doesn’t work, try another new way. There is seldom one right answer. The only truly wrong answer is no attempt. It’s ironic that the more you persist, the more strength you acquire to keep going at it and trying again. Don’t give yourself excuses or exceptions.
Henry Ward Beecher, twentieth-century American clergyman and lecturer, wrote: “The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one often comes from a strong will and the other from a strong won’t.”
Debra Benton/Kylie Wright-Ford, co-authors of the new book, The Leadership Mind Switch (McGraw-Hill, 2017)