Hanging in There Long Enough to Win!

What do you do when you are at a crossroads? Do you give up or keep moving forward? The article below by David Cottrell is a reminder of the value of perseverance in your leadership and in your life.

“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” – Steve Jobs

Hanging in There Long Enough to Win!

By David Cottrell

“Without a doubt, there are some who give up too soon – just before they turn the corner to success. Yet, successful people keep moving even when they are scared and have made mistakes. The following story illustrates what could happen on the road to success:

A man meets a guru on the road and asks “Which is the way to success?” The bearded sage doesn’t speak, but points to the left. The man thrilled by the prospect of quick and easy success rushes off. Suddenly, there’s a loud splat!

Eventually, the man limps back, tattered and stunned, assuming he took the wrong turn. So he repeats his question to the guru, who again points silently in the same direction. The man obediently walks off, and this time there’s a deafening splaaat!

When the man crawls back, he is bloody, broken, and irate. “I asked you which way to success!” he screams at the guru. “I followed your direction, but all I got was splatted -twice! No more pointing! Talk!

Only then does the guru speak, very quietly.

“Success is that way. Just a little past splat.”

Many of us would be tempted to give up after the first splat! But we must develop the courage and resolve to hang in there, through several rounds of splatting, if necessary! If you persevere and work through the issues, you can and will make a difference (p. 159-160).”


Feeling stuck and ready to throw in the towel? Stop for a moment and think: What was your last success like? Was it a straight and easy drive, or were there bumps and turns in the road? Use that information to assess your current situation. Is this a bump, or is it a stop sign? What does success look like, and what do you need to do to get from here to there? Share with us below.

From: Cottrell, D. (2009). Monday morning motivation: five steps to energize your team, customers and profits. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.

Reprinted with permission from the OSU Leadership Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, (614) 292-3114, http://leadershipcenter.osu.edu/