Continuous Courage

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts. 
- Winston Churchill

Have you ever heard the saying that if someone is not mad at you, then you are not leading?

I suppose there is some truth in that. Over my life and in my leadership, I have made plenty of people upset at me. I never do this purposely, but in leadership, we just can’t please everyone.

As leaders, we can never look at a lack of consensus as failure. And yet, I know many who do. A failure to gain agreement for every idea and every direction we need to go as a leader or as an organization is not failure.

I do believe that, as a leader, you need to work really hard to gain buy-in. In John Maxwell’s book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, he writes about the “Law of Buy-In” where he shares “people buy into the leader, then the vision.”

My question to you is: Do people buy into you? Or, do you constantly find yourself trying to force issues and ideas through just to get them done?

The real failure in leadership is not in a lack of consensus; it is a lack of buy-in to you as a leader.

Now let me be a realist here for a moment.

Not everyone on your team will like you; however, as a leader, you have to gain their respect. Anything less is a failure in leadership.

Winston Churchill said it well:  “It is the courage to continue that counts.”

As a leader, you must have the courage to keep fighting for buy-in. You have to keep fighting for respect. And you have to keep fighting for the overall vision of the organization for it to become a reality.

The only failure is in quitting.

One of my mentors, Les Brown, said to me one time when I was down: “If you can look up, you can get up.”

In leadership, we all face some tough challenges. There are times when it feels like you are trying to hit a baseball that’s coming at you at 90 miles per hour.

Leadership is one of the hardest things I have ever done.


Because of me!

As a leader, I can be selfish. I can be critical. I can be laser-focused on my wants and forget to listen to others.

I have failed many times as a leader, but I never quit. By definition, that makes me courageous.

Are you courageous, too? 

LeadUp Exercise

Do you seek consensus in all your leadership decisions? How does this affect you as a leader?

Do you focus your attention on the mission, or the lack of movement in your team?

How can you re-focus everyone on the mission to gain buy-in?

Are you a self-reflecting leader? Or are you a selfish leader?



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