from the Blog

Digging Deeper to Succeed


How determined are you to succeed? How strong is your perseverance when confronted with obstacles?

How about your team? Do your team members push through adversity or do they give up early?


Do they have tenacity . . . that quality of being determined to do or achieve something; a firmness of purpose?


Riding a BikeHere’s my take on tenacity:

  • We have all watched a baby learn to crawl or walk. Once the opportunity is discovered, we marvel at their dogged determination – that’s tenacity.
  • Have you ever helped a child learn to ride a bike? Once they determine the time is right, and with a little bit of encouragement, they persevere the falls and scratched knees often required to obtain bicycle freedom – that’s tenacity.
  • In sports, on the playing field, the great players are those who are persistent. They put in the long hours, the extra hours of practice. They develop a mental focus and firmness of purpose – that’s tenacity.
  • In the workplace our rising stars keep at it until the job is done. They are focused on achieving the goal. They are prepared with all of the right questions. They don’t let small setbacks derail them. When the answer or solution is proving elusive they dig a little bit deeper – that’s tenacity.
  • The teacher that continues to challenge the “D” student with only a few weeks left in the school year, because they know that they can still make a difference.  That’s tenacity.
  • Engineering projects often require us to be aware of underground utilities or structural systems that aren’t readily seen. The plans for the original construction aren’t available, we can’t readily find the information we are looking for? We go past the obvious. We reach out to the building manager, the custodian, a long term resident – that’s tenacity.
  • Your sales manager can’t get past the gatekeeper to get to the decision maker for a potentially big client. He visits the business and/or service organizations he belongs to, joins the chamber committee he chairs, and attends the next ribbon cutting for his business, just to put a face to the name and develop familiarity –  that’s tenacity.
  • With incredible web search engines we are able to find answers to almost every question – nearly instantaneous. But what happens when our search doesn’t magically show a solution on page 1 or even the second page? We dig a little bit deeper. We redefine the search or find an alternate resource. That’s tenacity.

What are some examples of tenacity for you or your team?

What does your tenacity quotient might look like? Where would you fall on a scale of 0-5 on dogged determination?



Digging Deeper to Succeed

Consider the following ideas to improve you and your team’s tenacity quotient:

  • Create an Environment and Culture of doing your best work. Do not accept the first draft.
  • Develop Processes (Intentional Habits) that get you past the easy solution.
  • Acknowledge that digger deeper has a time commitment attached to it.  
  • Don’t stop at “No”. Successful people push through the “No”. 
  • Redefine the question if you are stuck.
  • Redefine the search. Scan through page 5 of the results. You may be led to a different search term. 
  • Be persistent. Push the boundaries.  
  • Be creative. Who can you find that will help with an introduction?
  • Become active in community organizations and boards. They give you access to persons and opportunities that might otherwise be considered unreachable.
  • Consider alternate resources – do not rely entirely on digital.
  • Be a Role Model for grit, perseverance, and determination.

Want to learn more about tenacity? Consider this TED Talk (6 minutes) by Angela Lee Duckworth discussing the topic of being gritty.

. . . go have an Awesome Week!

Tom Trabue
Photo Credit – Flickr CC4.0 Kevin Shorter