My mother and father were not quitters. They were tenacious as hell and exemplified the Winston Churchill admonition to never, never, ever, ever, ever give up. Both my mother and father instilled in me the same tenacity.
After immigrating from Scotland, my father never found his financial bearings. He worked as a used car salesman up to the very end of his life. Not because he loved working, but because he needed the money and would never consider giving up on his family responsibilities.
My mother was tenacious because it was simply part of her DNA. To say she came from humble beginnings is a massive understatement. She was tenacious in the face of our family hardships, but never gave up on trying to instill in her children the belief that remaining intellectual curios was not a privilege bestowed on us by a benevolent overlord, but it was a right that must be taken seriously.
In the face of overwhelming adversity, my mother and father taught me three things about tenacity and never giving up.
The three strategies are:
1. Be helpful to others. We have all been given tremendous talents, gifts and skills. Finding ways to use our talents and skills in ways that is beneficial to others is the first order of business.
2. Never lose your sense of humor. Even though my father struggled financially, he once reminded me that the gestation period of an African Elephant was twenty-two months. When asked how he knew that he responded, “I got one pregnant once.”
3. Just do it. Mom said ” you’ll spend just as much time thinking about whether you should do something as you will doing it. So stop over-thinking things and just do things.”
As leaders and team members I think these three strategies can guide us to have a more effective workweek.
What strategies have you learned about tenacity and never giving up?