The Persistent PM

I wanted to talk a little bit today about the extremely undervalued trait of plain old persistence. Other blogs might discuss determination, perseverance, self-motivation or other more glamorous traits, but today I wanted to just dial it down a notch and frame these attributes as simply persistence.

To me, persistence is an understated determination.

The inner fire burning within each of you overachievers is often in dire need of a governor. That is, you (myself included) often come on too strong, push our agendas too aggressively and conversely take our failures like a shot to the gut. At times, the solution to this dilemma is in the form of persistence. Not too strong, not to light, but always positive, always striving to do the right thing and generally unflappable.

This air of calmness will garner allies in most teams. When the sky is falling, you will help the team stay their course through the issue of the day. When the deadline is aggressive, you will be a voice of reason with a firm underlying tone. When the answer is ‘No’ you will be back next week with a different, yet equally reasonable spin on the same agenda…and the week after that, and the week after that. You are not discouraged easily because you are confident in your position yet open to evolving approaches. There is not just one solution that you must fight for, but an elusive optimum that you are constantly, persistently pursuing.

It’s not about the ten miles you ran today or the 8 minute pace you did it in. It’s about the 2 miles you ran every day for the past 100 days at just the right pace. Think about that for a second the next time things escalate a bit and walls seem to be closing in. Do your best today and leave it at that. Just make sure to bring it again tomorrow!

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