I Am Not Smart… I Am Persistent!

In my work life, I’ve received many compliments. I have a hard time accepting the one that says I’m smart. People look at my credentials (like the fact that I’m a nuclear engineer, or that I studied at Cambridge University) and assume that it takes intelligence to do these things. I completely disagree. The one quality I have and want to see most from my employees is persistence.

Why Persistence?

Persistent people are resilient.

They power through adversity, working through obstacles step-by-step without losing enthusiasm. They bounce back quickly from bad news and rejection by refusing to let negative emotions derail their efforts. They know that setbacks are inevitable on the path to success and that it’s only by learning from mistakes that people can become better at what they do.

It's only by learning from mistakes that people can become better at what they do. Click To Tweet
Persistent people adapt and learn.

They believe every outcome, positive or negative, is a chance to learn and get better. They understand “failing fast” is important because it provides instant feedback to make course corrections. They view problems as opportunities not obstacles.

Learning from both positive and negative results will help you grow as a person, which is essential for success in any field! Click To Tweet
Persistent people have perspective.

In the face of adversity, they remain optimistic. They know that with hard work and dedication, success is just around the corner. They also see the big picture. However tough their situation is, they know it could be a lot worse.

Remind yourself that even if something does go wrong, things can always be worse! Click To Tweet
Persistent people are patient.

Persistent people are not surprised by failure. They know some setbacks will occur and are not frustrated by them. They keep moving forward despite the circumstances.

The most successful people are the ones who are able to fail without letting it get them down. Click To Tweet
Persistent people find ways to recharge.

They surround themselves with co-workers, friends and family who support them through their journey. This gives them outlets to work out their concerns and frustrations to strengthen themselves for the long fight.  They can push harder knowing they have a support system backing them up.

Having a support system provides outlets for your concerns and frustrations, which can strengthen your resolve during a long fight. Click To Tweet
Persistent people are naturally optimistic. 

People who persist in their pursuits are confident and have a sense of control. They remain confident in their ability to overcome obstacles and challenges, and they believe that a positive outcome will result from their hard work. Thus, they persist for long periods of time.

Persistent people are motivated to do things that require long-term effort. Click To Tweet
Persistent people are hard to beat. 

When faced with difficulties, they don’t sulk or get depressed, they act. When they get hit, they punch back twice as hard and they don’t quit. They are difficult to compete against. As Babe Ruth famously said, “You just can’t beat the person who never gives up.”

“You just can’t beat the person who never gives up.” - Babe Ruth Click To Tweet
Persistent people are reliable and dependable.

They are people of action. They get things done. Even when overwhelmed, they find ways to power through. You can rely on them to deliver. Persistent people know how to focus on the task at hand and get the job done. They don’t waste time or energy on what could be better spent doing their work. These people know that if they don’t get it done today—and there is always something more important to do—it will only be harder tomorrow when they have to do it again!

Determined and relentless, persistent people know how to focus on the task at hand and get things done. Click To Tweet
Persistent people are stable.

They understand mental, physical, and spiritual toughness are essential for long-term success. They take care of themselves so they can lean into their problems and not get blown away by every challenge they face

Achieving a goal can take a lot of effort, so it's important to stay healthy so you don't get burnt out. Click To Tweet

Of all the traits an employee can have, I believe persistence is, by far, the most important.

Persistent people demonstrate an unwavering resolve to do whatever must be done to produce the best long-term results, no matter how difficult. They are not deterred by failure, or even by success. They see every day as a new opportunity for growth and improvement, and they know that if they stick with it, they’ll get where they want to go.

Persistence is an essential skill for anyone who wants to succeed in life because it’s the ability to keep going even when things don’t go according to plan. The persistent person is able to overcome any obstacle and continue on their path toward success.

“Energy and persistence conquer all things.” ― Benjamin Franklin Click To Tweet

Having persistent employees, who never quit, is a huge asset for any company. CEOs are looking for those special people who can step up and deliver results regardless of adverse circumstances. They are looking for optimistic leaders who don’t let problems or setbacks derail their efforts, people who power through adversity with an optimistic mindset.

As a CEO, I look for people with a history of persistence. I look for the engineer who worked two jobs and went to night school for six years to graduate, the veteran who served two combat tours, or the plant manager who worked their way up from the shop floor. They are the people who are going to make a difference in my company.

What do you think? Is persistence the most important employee attribute? Are there others that are more significant? What makes persistent people so valuable? Can you build resilient company culture by hiring and promoting persistent employees?

Let me know your thoughts below.


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[Photo from Canva]

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