When you think of a leader, what image comes to mind? A strong, confident person who can inspire others or someone willing to lead others through adversity to achieve a common goal? There are many great models of leadership throughout history, but did you ever wonder how they became such great leaders? It really comes down to this key leadership skill: perseverance.

We Have All Experienced Failure

Every leader has faced some form of failure in their past, but what sets them apart is their response to failure. A great leader is recognized by their determination to continue when they encounter adversity. Abraham Lincoln lost eight elections during his political career; however, he never gave up and is now remembered as one of the greatest American leaders of all time. Thomas Edison failed at least 10,000 times to create a successful prototype for the incandescent light bulb. Edison is remembered as one of the U.S.’s greatest inventors, inspiring countless people to achieve their goals.  Both were examples of great leaders who faced adversity and persevered.

Learn From Your Mistakes

If you want to be a truly great leader in your field, you need to learn from your mistakes and work towards your goals, even if you’re afraid or face adversity in achieving them. The common saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” also applies to leadership. Leaders don’t give up when they fail. They find a way to reframe their failure and learn from it so that they can achieve success. The next time you face failure, don’t give up.  Instead, think about how you’ll learn and grow if you persevere. This may be difficult in the moment, but if you carry on, the chances are that you’ll eventually find success.

Chris Abercrombie is a Senior Analyst at Abacus CPAs, LLC.  He thoroughly enjoys working on tax returns, specializing in transportation-related tax issues, and is excellent in situations that require the strategic organization of information. Chris sets priorities and puts them into appropriate sequences.

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