There was a time in my life when tenacity was how I proved my worth. Tenacity was how I got seen. Tenacity was how I felt good about myself. Tenacity was how I felt belonging and the right to sit at the table. It was effort. It was work. It was competition. I relied on tenacity. Tenacity was good. Until it wasn’t. Or until it became one of a few orientations to develop.
Near the start of 2021, I was in a conversation with my New Zealand pal Glen Lauder. Glen helped inspire a few thoughts that I included in this article, Leadership at 50 — Three Questions for Recovering Tenacious Leaders.
I’m thinking of all of this tenacity stuff in part because I’ve worked with two groups of younger people recently. Younger people who are very oriented to accomplishment. Very oriented to tenacity.
My job, I think, has been to encourage them in what they do, but also do bring a bit of wisdom and I would say soulfulness, to what they do. For example, it is a project manager’s job to really track detail and schedule. It’s impressive. But not all are meant to be project managers. Or not meant to be project managers forever. Some grow from those talents and experiences into the less detailed approach that is vision, story, and narrative. I loved the “older” leader in one of these recent groups who referenced the book, The Boys In The Boat, a non-fiction account of a 1930s rowing crew that had to learn the art and spirit of rowing, not just the braun. Not just the tenacity.
So, enjoy this read (the article and the book). Perhaps you will find a bit to feed your continued journey of leadership and what gifts are yours to contribute.