Never, Never, Never Give Up!

Wed, 2011-08-31 11:07 -- tomjonez

3 Questions to Ask Myself

For the past two weeks we have been looking at three questions which can serve as a good framework for self-assessment when it comes to our motivation on the job and/or with a given task or assignment.  The questions are:

  • What is my sense of Urgency regarding what I am doing?
  • What is my level of Persistence in sticking to the pursuit of my goal(s)?
  • What is the level of my Passion?

This week we take a brief look at Persistence.

To illustrate the question of persistence we turn to a very famous story about Winston Churchill.

World War Two had ended.  Churchill had gallantly led the British nation through the highs and lows, the perils and the victories of that war.  As Britain's Prime Minister throughout the conflict, he had never flinched - even in the face of the war's darkest periods.  He remained steadfast.  Persistent.  Unwavering.

On a particular occasion after the war, Churchill had been asked to address a group as the keynote speaker.  He was introduced with a lengthy recital of his credentials by the master of ceremonies.  And then, to extended applause from the British crowd, he approached the podium.  He waited for the noise from the grateful listeners to reach a dramatic pin-drop quiet.  And then he spoke.  He said,

Never - give - up.

He paused at length to let the instant and extended applause finally fade.  And then he spoke again.  He said in a louder voice than before,

Ne-ver - Give - Up !

He once again waited for the roaring applause of the crowd to quiet down.  He paused for further emphatic effect.

And then he spoke with a vigor and resolve-of-spirit that only Winston Churchill could muster, as he proclaimed with the full force of his oratorical skill,

Ne-ver  -  Ne-ver  -  Ne-ver  -  Give - Up !

The. crowd. went. wild.

Unrestrained cheering filled the air as Churchill purposely walked off of the stage.

The cheering, the shouts of agreement, and the deafening applause echoed on for an unforgettable length of time.

The speech had ended.  The life of Winston Churchill said everything else.


So we ask ourselves the question that surfaces from this story...this historic life-lesson:

How is my persistence?

How do I react when the going gets tough?  Do I persist in the pursuit of my mission, my goals, and my objectives?

Persistence.  Never giving up.

As a leader, taking the time to reflect on the persistence of my team is also a very useful way to measure the motivation of those I lead.

What does the answer to a "measure of my persistence" tell me about myself?

What does a similar review tell me about those I am leading?