Every leader will face times of overwhelming opposition and challenge. Problems can arise that seem unsolvable, impassable, or even insurmountable. The question is, how do we respond? Do we move forward with hope or give up? Do we stand firm or cave in? Do we focus on impossibilities, or do we press in to see what possibilities God has waiting to demonstrate on our behalf?
A good leader is tenacious—not in the sense of being obstinate to get what we want, but being resolute in what God has spoken to us. The word tenacity means the quality of being able to grip something firmly. The things we do as leaders in our businesses or ministries aren’t merely about what we offer but also the ideas, dreams, and directions God has given us to effect good and prosper His designs through us.
Life is full of battles. The art of tenacity is a faithful persistence rooted in the intimate knowledge that we are not walking our path alone but with the One who called us to our place and will see us through every challenge. Such challenges include an unseen enemy who works tirelessly to cause us self-doubt in who we are, doubt in what God has said, and even doubt in God Himself!
Many men and women in history who seemed plagued with failure pressed through to succeed…immensely! As a young man, Abraham Lincoln went to war a captain and returned a private. He failed as a businessman, as a lawyer, in his first try for the legislature, and again in his first attempt to be nominated for Congress. He was defeated in his application to be commissioner of the General Land Office, in the senatorial election of 1854, in his efforts for the vice-presidency in 1856, and again in the senatorial election of 1858. Did he feel miserable at such defeat? Yes! But he didn’t quit. Instead, he went on to be one of the greatest of all U.S. presidents.
As a boy, Thomas Edison was called “too stupid to learn anything” by his teachers. As a young man, he was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.” And as an inventor, it took Edison 1,000 unsuccessful attempts in trying to invent the light bulb. Nevertheless, when questioned about the failures, he didn’t see it as 1,000 failed attempts but as 1,000 steps to success!
Finally, As Harriet Beecher Stowe once said, “Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” Who knows? It might just be your next step forward that will be the turning of your tide and thus the tide of those under your leadership.
J. Nicole Williamson is an inspirational speaker, author, and CEO of King’s Lantern International, a motivational ministry. Certified with AACC and a licensed minister with a Bachelor of Theology, she trains in personal development through empowered thinking, authentic identity, and intimacy with God. Her books include The Empowered Woman, Heaven’s Secret of Success, and Freedom in the Light. She and her husband live in the Dallas, Texas area. For more information, see www.kingslantern.com.