This series covers the 12 Habits of Effective Entrepreneurs. Click here to view previous articles.
Habit #3 – Tenacity
Tenacity is forged in the crucible of affliction.
Expressed as a formula, the order is this:
Affliction + Crucible = Tenacity
Entrepreneurs who make it past the startup phase and those who find success over the long haul have one major characteristic in common, and that characteristic is “tenacity”. The degrees tend to vary, as it is developed over time and at each level in business. As the business grows, so does the tenacity of its leadership. Otherwise, the business would fold, and there are countless examples of that.
But if you have been in business over a year, five years, or longer, congratulations! You have developed a level of tenacity. If you are just starting out, know that this is a skill you will need and one you can develop.
How do you continually develop and strengthen your tenacity?
Well, you may not like the answer. But, it is the formula: Affliction + Crucible = Tenacity
At each level in business, you will experience affliction. Affliction is uncomfortable, often out of your control, and not something anyone likes to experience. But it is also what helps you grow as a leader.
Because affliction forces you to the crucible, that place where all the diverse elements come together. It can bring conflict and heated interactions. But, in the end, it will result in new ideas and solutions that will take your business to the next level.
Here’s the key: You must never give up in the crucible. Fighting through its challenges is what increases your strength of tenacity. That strength and those new ideas will carry your business forward into the future.
What does this look like in stages of business?
Here, you will experience self-doubt, criticism, outside challenges, financial obstacles, fatigue (possibly to the level of burnout), stress, apathy, boredom, and/or a general sense of not knowing what to do next. In today’s business world, this looks like supply chain issues, employee disengagement, financial challenges, business owner burnout, and the aftermath of the pandemic. In other significant eras of history, this may have taken the form of stock market crises, rising unemployment, and dust bowls.
This is the proverbial bowl of conflict, where all the issues gather to be wrestled through until new solutions form. It can be volatile and ugly, and it forces new ways of thinking and working together. But what forms in the end are better solutions and stronger leaders. The crucible of World War II, for instance, forced companies and civilians alike to pivot. Automobile factories became tank and aircraft manufacturers; food companies developed sustainable solutions; and civilians sacrificed modern conveniences in order to support the effort.
Tenacity is the power that fires the next phase. Having grown through the crucible, it provides the leader with the strength to conquer the day-to-day issues of the business and to reach new levels of success. Think about it. The teamwork, leaders, and ideas forged through the World War II era went on to launch the Space Age.
At any given time, society, businesses, and individuals cycle through these three stages. While the first two are uncomfortable, they are essential to the third.
Think about your life and business. When did you learn the most or gain the most in terms of leadership? Was it when the times were easy? Or was it in the crucible?
If you are currently in one of the first two stages, take heart: you are about to grow. Find ways to sustain and fight through the obstacles, and you will come out stronger in the end.
How can you get through the crucible stage?
Here are some important steps to take.
- Anticipate issues.
- Consider possibilities.
- Assess the resources you will need.
- Form a strong support team.
- Consult with others who have opposite strengths.
- Be prepared to work through the conflicts, and have the difficult conversations.
- Hold true to principles and values.
- Be open to new ideas for how things should be done and willing to pivot.
- Learn from history, be in the present, and have a vision for the future.
- Note what you are learning from the experience.
As the CEO of Strength Leader Development, Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after international executive mentor, coach, trainer, and speaker. Deb is well versed in global business operations and helps business leaders and their teams to discover and leverage their strengths, so they can create highly collaborative teams that deliver great results. With a refreshingly direct style, and using the Maxwell Method, Deb helps leaders and teams to deliver profitable results. Connect with Deb to learn more about her mentorship and coaching programs to equip you with advanced strategies to elevate your results