On Being Tenacious

I've learned a lot about tenacity through my son's college level and pro sports teams. If there is one idea that has been picked up more than others, it surrounds being tenacious. Many a talented player has come and gone - because he or she was lacking in tenacity. When times are good, it is easier to excel - but how do you do when times are tougher?

Another nice post from road warrior Jake Goertzen is focused on tenacity. Jake is head scout for last year's Stanley Cup winner Tampa Bay Lightning. Jake writes:

tenacity is crucial to success. Even people who lack talent and fail to cultivate some of the other vital qualities of a team player have a chance to contribute to the team and help it succeed if they possess a tenacious spirit.

Being tenacious means…

Giving All That You Have, Not More Than You Have

Some people who lack tenacity do so because they mistakenly believe that being tenacious demands from them more than they have to offer. As a result, they don’t push themselves. However, being tenacious requires that you give 100 percent—not more, but certainly not less. If you give it your all, you can afford yourself every opportunity for success.

Working with Determination, Not Waiting on Destiny

Tenacious people don’t rely on luck, fate, or destiny for their success. And when conditions become difficult, they keep working. They know that trying times are no time to quit trying. And that’s what makes the difference. For the thousands of people that give up, there is someone like Thomas Edison, who remarked, “I start where the last man left off.”

Quitting When the Job Is Done, Not When You’re Tired

Robert Strauss stated that “success is a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don’t quit when you’re tired—you quit when the gorilla is tired.” If you want your team to succeed, you have to keep pushing beyond what you think you can do and find out what you are really capable of. It’s not the first but the last step in the relay race, the last shot in the basketball game, and the last yard with the football into the end zone that makes the difference, for that is where the game is won. Motivational speaker Napoleon Hill summed it up: “Every successful person finds that great success lies just beyond the point when they’re convinced their idea is not going to work.” Tenacity hangs on until the job is finished.

Reflecting On It

How tenacious are you? When others have given up, do you keep hanging on? If it’s the bottom of the ninth inning and there are two outs, have you already lost the game mentally, or are you ready to rally the team to victory? If the team hasn’t found a solution to a problem, are you willing to keep plugging away to the very end to succeed? If you sometimes give up before the rest of the team does, you may need a strong dose of tenacity.

To Improve Your Tenacity

· Work harder and/or smarter. If you tend to be a clock watcher who never works beyond quitting time no matter what, then you need to change your habits. Put in additional sixty to ninety minutes of work every day by arriving at work thirty to forty-five minutes early and staying an equal amount of time after your normal hours. If you are someone who already spends an inordinate number of hours, then spend more time planning to make your working hours more efficient.

· Stand for something. To succeed you must act with absolute integrity. However, if you can add to that power of purpose, you will possess an additional edge. Write on an index card how your day-to-day work relates to your overall purpose. Then review that card daily to keep your emotional fires burning.

· Make your work a game. Nothing feeds tenacity like our natural competitive nature. Try to harness that by making your work a game. Find others in your organization that have similar goals and create a friendly competition with them to motivate you and them.


Never, Never, Never Quit

To see far is one thing; going there is another. – Constantin Brancusi

To finish first, you must finish. – Rick Mears

If there is one single thing I have learned so far in hockey, and in life, it is that the most talented players/people do not necessarily become the most successful players, and that unless the talented ones also develop their tenacity they will be passed by, by the more tenacious ones, even if the tenacious ones are less talented.


Topics: Sales Ideas & Skills

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