Are there actual benefits of being stubborn? I could be biased on the topic, but I think being stubborn can be an undervalued quality of a leader. For far too long stubbornness has been portrayed as a negative characteristic. That changes today!
None of us are exempt from the stubborn gene. We inherit it, we distribute it. It lies within all of us, some of us more than others!
Maybe it’s because I can relate to stubborn people, because I am one, but I love stubborn people. I have been worked with them, coached them, been friends with them, and raised them.
Benefits of Being Stubborn
Nearly three years ago, the Good Lord placed a burden on my heart to, “Help leaders in local communities use their influence to better others and the worlds they live in.” Local leaders such as public servants, educators, small business owners, business executives, pastors, and elected officials were the intended audience. From there, the Leadership and Main Project was birthed.
This post is post 150! One hundred and fifty consecutive Sunday nights of considering topics and wrestling with content. Some nights I wrote quickly, some nights I struggled for hours to get through a post. There were posts I thought were deep, impactful, and well written that received little traction, and posts that I thought were shallow, boring, and unclear that received great traction.
Honestly, there were some nights I just wanted to throw in the towel. But, I didn’t. This misunderstood quality known as stubbornness pushed me through and I am grateful for it.
Here are four reflections on the benefits of being stubborn:
Webster’s Dictionary defines stubborn as, “unreasonable unyielding.” In the spirit of simplicity and positivity, let’s stick with, “Unyielding.”! A quick Google search of “unyielding” produces the definition, “not giving way to pressure, hard or solid.” Now we are getting somewhere!
Leaders should be unyielding in pursuit of their craft, being The Person that People Want to Follow.” Leadership is not for the faint of heart, pressure comes with the territory. A lack of stubbornness leaves us susceptible to collapsing under that pressure. Standing solid in the face of pressure sees us through to the finish line.
Stubborn leaders are unyielding.
Another word that appeared in some definition searches of stubborn was “obstinate.” Webster’s defines obstinate as, “Stubbornly adhering to an opinion, purpose, or course in spite of reason, arguments, or persuasion.” “Adhering to a purpose or course in spite of invalid reason, poor arguments, or lack of persuasion” is probably what they intended to say!
Here is something that the negative connotation of stubborn tends to miss. Stubborn leaders are instinctive people. At times, we may have to dig in on the heels of our intuition. That intuition is guided by a vision. Vision is the ability to see further. To reach that destination, we must stay the course.
Stubborn leaders are obstinate.
When I think of the world’s outlook on stubborn, a few words come to mind. Words like refusal, resistant, and defiant. While those words could be easily misconstrued for the negative, they can provide extreme value in the face of adversity.
There is one thing for certain in life and leadership, things will not always go our way. We will fail, we will fall short. Unforeseen circumstances happen. Loss of loved ones, depression, job changes, anxiety, addiction, accidents, financial trouble, you name it.
Refusal, resistance, and defiance in the face of adversity is a positive quality. It delivers us through the fog of circumstances and into conditions of better visibility. Stubborn is the fuel that gets us through the valleys and to the mountain tops.
Stubborn leaders are Gritty People.
My Paw Paw once told me that, “James, the hardest thing you will ever do is MANAGE people.” He was right, but he let me figure out the rest on my own, that LEADING people is the most rewarding thing I would ever do.
Here is the most important quality of stubbornness. We are relentless pursuers of people. Great leaders relentlessly pursue people at all costs. In the face of frustration, discouragement, and disagreement, stubborn leaders see more in those they lead than they see in themselves. They don’t quit on people, even when given perfectly good reason to.
Stubborn leaders relentlessly pursue others.
There was another milestone for the blog this week. We eclipsed 400 weekly subscribers! Subscribers from all over the Country and even outside of the U.S. There are hundreds of others that read it through social media clicks and the platform has opened avenues to share the Leadership and Main message through speaking at conferences, banquets, and seminars.
My vocabulary of “we” was intentional in the paragraph above. I have friends and loved ones who serve as guest bloggers, proofreaders, social media managers, quote resources, advisors, and inspirers. No money is given, no money is earned, they just simply support me in my stubborn pursuit of bettering others and the world I live in.
Don’t overlook the benefits of being stubborn.