"Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other." Abraham Lincoln
"Choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
Great leaders have something ordinary leaders must want and must have to experience more than momentary success - resolve. They have a vision for the future, and they will not be distracted, discouraged, or dissuaded in accomplishing its end. While this could easily be mistaken as being stubborn, it's not. It's not about being unwilling to emotionally connect, being opposed to listening to the input of others, or even making course corrections along the way. Instead, it is about being firm, unyielding, and determined to accomplish a mission that is set before them. This attitude and attribute of leadership is only formed over time as it must undergo tests of endurance, opposition, change, and periods of questioning to be fortified as a true resolve.
Build Your Resolve, with Three Defining Factors
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One | Deep Conviction
Resolve implies that we decide firmly on a course of action. When you think about it, this is what leaders are called to do. Leaders often are born out of a challenge that has birthed a conviction that must need come to pass. You have probably seen this in an entrepreneur who builds a product to solve a problem, or a non-profit leader passionate about a cause, or a politician who fights for the rights of those who need a voice, or an athlete who overcomes unreasonable odds to carve a path for their future. These convictions feed their desire to win and win at all cost - but not at the expense of their integrity. Because of this, they will not waver, but rather adapt, shift, and find solutions for obstacles along the way to accomplish the end game. Their convictions take effort, pain, and opposition to its farthest reaches. They have assessed the situation, have concluded, and have birthed a deep conviction to resolve forward movement.
Two | Relentless Pursuit
Every leader is going to face critics, especially those leaders with resolve. Critics who are cynical, resistant, or are merely unconvinced will be met at various stages of the pursuit. Sometimes they will show direct opposition, and other times they will act in opposition in a passive-aggressive manner. Either way, they can attempt to slow momentum and therefore negatively impact the values, mission, and vision of the resolved leader. But when resolve is forged from deep conviction, it is a lot easier to bear opposition either directly or indirectly. Keep in mind it's not only people that are the opposition, but it can also be the negative self-talk of the leader that creates secret opposition. A leader with resolve must thoughtfully discard negative self-talk in light of their conviction. This level of emotional awareness is a defining factor of a leader who is not deterred - they refuse to be intimidated by the negative talk of others or the negative self-talk of self.
Three | Strategic Flexibility
Resolve is a firmly chosen course of action. In that sense it is definitive. However, it's also flexible. And flexibility comes into play when obstacles are faced, and new strategic directions must be forged. This is where resolve surpasses rigidness, stubbornness, narcissism, and micromanagement. A resolved leader understands that they are always looking for the best way to achieve the mission with others together. So while a leader sets a definitive plan of action, they also remain flexible leaving room for continuous learning and improvement.
A clear mark of a great leader is resolve. If you want to move your leadership from good to great, then build resolve with these three factors that will take you on new ventures and to new heights.
Vince Miller is a speaker, author, and mentor to men. He is an authentic and transparent leader who loves to communicate to audiences on the topics of mentorship, fathering, leadership and manhood. He has authored 13 books and small group curriculum for men and is the primary content creator of all Resolute materials. Contact Vince Miller here. His newest book is Thirty Virtues That Build A Man.