Updated: Sep 2, 2020
What if I told you that stubbornness is in the DNA great leaders. That your stubbornness may be the very thing that empowers you to reach your most intimidating goals. Today, I’m going to give you the secret sauce of leadership and the King of the Jungle is going to help.
The King of the Jungle
The Lion is championed as the King of the Jungle, and rightly so. They are fierce, powerful and yet still beautiful creatures. They’re also dangerous when hungry as the picture above reveals.
The first reason lions get this title is the mane that male lions develop as they mature. It’s recognized as their crown. The second is that they remain at the top of the food chain because they are willing to take on prey much bigger than they are.
This characteristic of being willing to take on prey, sometimes more than 6 times their size, has caused people to think of them as fearless or courageous animals. I think the truth is that they’re just stubborn. They see a meal that they are determined to have and won’t let it slip from their grasp without a fight.
“Stubbornness is the secret sauce of self-leadership.”
Great Leaders Are Stubborn
Great leaders are stubborn about the right things. Sure, sometimes there’s selflessness and courage, but beneath it all is stubbornness. They are doggedly focused on a preferred future that they’re willing to sacrifice even their life for.
The appearance of selflessness or courage is the result of the clarity and confidence that comes with such a sharp focus. Clarity puts things in the right perspective and focus helps you ignore the things that would be a waste of your time. When you’re stubborn about a preferred future, then clarity and focus will motivate clear decisions and surface the needed sacrifices.
“This kind of stubbornness exposes how serving others without expecting much in return is freedom from disappointment and motivation to work smarter.”
Great leaders like Nelson Mandela, President Abraham Lincoln, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. are some of the greatest examples of this on a larger scale. Each one was stubborn about a united future for their country.
Their decisions were difficult but clear. Their sacrifices were undesirable but I’m certain they saw them as necessary. They were stubborn about a future they simply could not give up on.
“Great leaders are stubborn about the right things.”
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The Pocket Potential
The secret sauce of self-leadership is stubbornness. Identify the preferred future you can be stubborn about. Then be stubborn about seeing it come to life.
It may be a personal fitness goal, a target for your next quarter at work, the restoration of a relationship or success of your business. It’s the future you’re willing to fight for and that you’re dying to create. A future you’d be willing to sacrifice for.
Clarity puts things in the right perspective and focus helps you ignore the things that would be a waste of your time.
In the next 6 months, where do you hope to be in life professionally, relationally or physically?
Write down a 1 to 2 sentence statement that clearly articulates your goal.
Below that statement, write down what you think it would look like if you were stubborn about getting there.
Finally, identify and share your goal with someone you can trust to encourage you to remain stubborn about it until you get there.
Here’s a simple example:
Example: 6 Months from now I want to have more energy throughout the day and not feel sluggish. I don’t need to be “buff” but I want to be fit in a healthy way.
My accountability would probably be my wife, but a close friend, coworker, or family member is also encouraged.
Example: I need to be stubborn about getting more sleep at night so I can wake up earlier. Also, I want to work out at least twice a week.
Question: What do you need to be stubborn about?
How have you been utilizing your stubbornness? Do you see it as a strength? In the response below let me know what you will begin to aim your stubbornness at.
For bonus content and resources on self-leadership and work-life balance subscribing to my weekly newsletter. Also, if you have other ideas about great practices of self-leadership, leave a comment below. I’d love to learn from you!