Inspirational Leaders Are Persistent

The Only Sure Way To Fail Is To Stop Trying Today in the United States, we honor our military veterans. If you are one, let me thank you for your service. And if I happen to see you in uniform in one of the airports I'm visiting today, I have a nice thank-you card for you with a twenty tucked inside.

I did my service in peace time. I can only imagine what it's like for you men and women out there in uniform these days. Please know that we do appreciate your sacrifices.

I just read a story the other day about the only living recipient of the Medal of Honor whose service took place since the Vietnam war. Staff Sergeant Sal Giunta (who, judging from the patch on the uniform in his picture, is a fellow paratrooper) was one of the lucky ones who made it out of eastern Afghanistan alive, but not before heroic action that could've (probably should've) cost him his life. He ran into a hail of enemy fire to shield and save his buddies. His leaders were yelling at him to stop, but he kept going, despite unbelievable resistance. And he doesn't think he's a hero. He says, as do most heroes, that any of the troopers in his unit would've done exactly the same thing. He was just doing his job.

Sal Giunta is an example of a real inspirational leader. And by the way, when he undertook these heroic actions, he wasn't a sergeant. He was a lowly 22-year-old soldier for whom "leadership" was not a privilege commensurate with stripes on his sleeve, but a felt obligation arising from the core of his character.

How about you?

Do you think "just doing your job" is akin to going through the motions of daily existence, or for you, does it mean doing whatever it takes to get the job done? However tough? However inconvenient?

Be thankful you don't have to dash into a hail of gunfire today. Whatever your job is, though, you're sure to have obstacles and resistance. So what? Be inspired to do your job the way Sal did his that day in Afghanistan. Run in, and keep at it until you've accomplished your goal.

If your job seems impossible, go make yourself another one. Start your own business on the side, and grow it until you don't need that day job any more. Then you have all the options. You can keep your day job, or quit. And you might find you want to keep it, since running your own business on the side is likely to rejuvenate your performance and attitude even at your old "impossible" job. But don't hang around and wait to get laid off. A persistent, inspirational leader only leaves a job on her own terms, or at least has a back-up plan firmly in place if the unforeseeable happens.

If you seem impossibly out of shape, change your habits and change your body. Start small. Make a little progress each day or week on the five key habits I call The NEWSS: Nutrition, Exercise, Water, Sleep, and Supplements. You will find getting in shape far from impossible, but it will require you to be persistent. It's true, what they say: the only way to fail is to stop trying.

If you want to be inspirational, you have to be inspired. And to be inspired, you have to be able to see yourself as a success, which will only happen through persistence. So don't quit trying. You're going to succeed. You may not have the opportunity or calling for the sort of heroism displayed by the likes of Sal Giunta... but in your own little circle you can do great things.

Be a hero today.


Michael Hume is a speaker, writer, and consultant specializing in helping people maximize their potential and enjoy inspiring lives. As Founding Consultant of Agents of Personal Change (APC), LLC, he coaches executives and leaders in growing their personal sense of well-being through wealth creation and management, along with personal vitality. Those with an entrepreneurial spirit who want to make money "one less thing to worry about" can learn more about working with Michael...

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