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Clearview® Performance Systems brings you ... ® ... a Culture of Results & Engagement®

Here's the next in our series of weekly managerial TIPS (Techniques, Insights, and Practical Solutions)
to help you better engage your team in the activities that lead to higher performance.

CORE Bites Issue #113
(February 23, 2021)

Perseverance is Now on Mars ... What about YOUR Perseverance Back Home on Earth?

Amidst much jubilation, Perseverance, the latest NASA rover, streaked through the orange Martian sky and landed on the planet last week. Ground controllers at the space agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory jumped to their feet, thrust their arms in the air, and cheered and clapped in both triumph and relief on receiving confirmation that the six-wheeled vehicle had touched down on the red planet.

“Perseverance” is a very appropriate name for a vehicle that surmounted numerous obstacles prior to even being launched, and then traveled 292,526,838 miles over 7 months at 24,600 mph to reach its final destination. Credit for the name, “Perseverance,” goes to Alex Mather, a Northern Virginia 7th-grader whose idea was among more than 28,000 "Name the Rover" essay contest submissions to NASA by young space enthusiasts. [Photo, above, shows Alex (left) and Vaneeza Rupani who named the “Ingenuity” helicopter.]

In honor of this amazing feat, this week's CORE Bites will focus on a less celestial version of 'perseverance' by concentrating on how we're persevering—as leaders—through the numerous challenges imposed upon us by COVID and the radical changes we've been forced to make as a result.

Here's the question to get us started: Is this a "chicken first or egg first" situation? In other words, do persevering people become successful leaders, or do successful leaders, by virtue of the power of their purpose, learn perseverance? While I'm pretty sure there's a certain amount of natural perseverance in each of us, I'm thinking it's the latter ... that it's when one's purpose is so compelling; so powerful; so exact; when failure is not an option; that the drive to overcome—to persevere—becomes very pronounced. Without purpose, I'm not sure there would be sufficient need (drive) to learn how to persevere.

So the question of how we're doing—as we wrestle with the myriad challenges ahead—may very well come down to how aligned we are with the purpose that drives us. But let me be perfectly clear here; your purpose may not be the actual job function you perform. You may need to separate the what you do from the who you are to understand your purpose. For example, let's say you're a manager in the Accounting Department. Your job function may require a focus on the accuracy of financial reporting. But, while you may be proud of the results achieved by your team, this may not be what you discover to be your purpose. Instead, you may discover that your purpose is to lead; to pave the way toward an optimistic future for others to follow; to help your employees reach their full potential.

In Alex Mather's winning essay he states, "Perseverance. We as humans evolved as creatures who could learn to adapt to any situation, no matter how harsh. We are a species of explorers, and we will meet many setbacks on the way to Mars. However, we can persevere. We, not as a nation but as humans, will not give up."

Purpose, once discovered, provides great clarity and provides the framework for 'learning' perseverance. In a similar way to Perseverance, the Mars rover, your leadership journey will be one of many miles. And learning how to navigate life's road bumps—without ending up in the ditch—will help you persevere and lead others into an optimistic future.

High Value Activity (HVA) Action Steps

A "purpose" is the "why" of a leader's life. It is the meaning that underlies ALL of your activities. Life is a constant process of change. Every new day, every challenge, brings new opportunities. This is why good leadership begins with clarity of purpose—and clarity of purpose sets the tone and shapes the direction of our lives. I liken it to a homing beacon that allows you to be pointed towards your objective at all times.

We've all heard the saying, "If you don't know where you're going, then it doesn't matter what road you take." The questions listed below can help you identify your purpose:

  • Who am I meant to be? [Very important!]
  • What am I meant to do? [Also, very important!]
  • What am I passionate about? What am I energized by?
  • What are my natural strengths? What am I good at?

Knowing the answers to these questions can guide you to your purpose. And leaders who are clear about their purpose easily inspire others — they transform organizations and bring out the best in their employees.

Lead with purpose and you will persevere!

I'd love to hear how these HVAs work for you!

Neil Dempster, PhD, MBA
RESULTant™ and Behavioral Engineer

Quote of the Week

"Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired from doing the hard work you already did."

— Newt Gingrich —