Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

The value of persistence

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Let’s face it…some days are tough, some months are long, and occasionally some years seem endless. When you’re going through difficult times it can be tough just to get out of bed in the morning, and rolling up your sleeves and working can seem nearly impossible in these difficult down times. With that said, we (at least everyone reading this blog) know that tough times come, and they go. And those who brush it off and keep going will succeed in the end.

Former US Secretary of State Collin Powell summed it up nicely when he said; “Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty and persistence.”

Achieving success requires a continuation of effort. Mark Sanborn calls this Staying Power. When you face a big project, you spend time preparing and then exert increased effort to finish on time and with high quality. When you finish you do not pat yourself on the back as if you have “arrived” but you look forward to the next opportunity. You may (and should) take time to celebrate after completing a successful project, but the next day you get up and go back to ‘training’ for the next big project, just like you would train for the next race. It’s the continuation of successes that becomes the success.

Remember, success is the journey, not the destination. Persistence keeps you moving forward on that journey.

The Product Management Perspective: You can’t overstate the importance of persistence in creating great products. Things do not always go as planned. Great product managers learn from past mistakes and continue to press forward regardless of the obstacles they face. Product success does not come overnight, but instead comes over time, though consistent application of sound principles.

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