“Hey, you know what? We don’t want you here.” This is what the villagers said to Mullah Mike. If you watched the last Blog that I did, Mullah Mike was a Special Forces Team Leader in rural Afghanistan. This is what he told me that most of the villagers were telling him and his teammates in the early days when they showed up to live in this village and help the village push back against the Taliban. “We don’t want you here. We don’t want what you have. We don’t want what you’re selling.”
I’m sure you’ve probably heard similar things in your life and business right?
Welcome to the second part of this video series entitled “Ladder Inspiration,” where we talk about the types of things, leadership skillsets, tool sets, and mindsets, that can help you inspire the people in your life to climb up those ladders and endure those risks on the rooftop, not because they have to, but because they choose to. Again, this could be everything from inspiring prospects to buy your product online to inspiring your employees, associates or teammates to buy into your leadership vision for the company. Heck, it could be just getting your kids to come home for curfew on time. These are the challenges that we face as leaders today. How do you do that?
Last time I told you that if you’re going to get people to take a chance bigger than themselves and overcome the risk and the things that they face today in this skeptical, trust-depleted society, what Mullah Mike did worked really well and could work for you. They are the three Ps of rooftop leadership…presence, persistence, and patience. In the last blog we talked about presence. Today I want to talk about persistence. I define persistence as just that tenacious ability to hang on and do what needs to be done no matter what happens around you or what happens inside of you. It’s just so critical.
I will tell you, one of the things that I noticed about Mullah Mike was that he never gave up. When all of those people in that village were telling him and his team, “We don’t want you here. We don’t trust you here,” Mike never gave up. I’m going to tell you something. It was rough. They were living in an old abandoned school. These guys, to the man, lost 25 pounds in the first month and a half of being there, 25 pounds! Barely getting enough to eat. No one would sell them food at the market. They were living off aerial resupplies. At the same time, they were getting attacked every single night. While the attacks weren’t necessarily coming from the villagers, the villagers weren’t saying anything. The villagers were huddling in their homes allowing these attacks to happen, taking no action, giving no advanced warning. Everything around them was falling apart, and Mike’s own men, in many cases, were losing their morale. They were losing their belief in what needed to happen.
Think about that in your own life. Have you not faced similar situations where sales are low, the market is down, the business is sluggish, and your people are starting to question, not only what you do for a living and what your business does, but they’re starting to question each other? They’re starting to fall apart there. Everybody on the outside is throwing stones at you if you meet success or if you meet failure. It’s a microcosm of those same things that Mullah Mike faced when people said, “We don’t want you here.” A lot of times that will happen when you’re meeting success, and it’ll happen when you’re meeting failure. Your persistence, that second P, or your ability to hang on no matter what happens is absolutely critical.
I want to give you some things that are more concrete that you can do. One is you’ve got to have a crystal clear vision of what you want, of where you’re going, of what you’re building. You guys have heard me in previous blogs talk about, from a mindset perspective, how important your vision is and that you’re crystal clear on it. This is where it pays off. When things get squirrley, and they will, and things get tough, and they will, your crystal clear vision is going to be the ultimate anchor point that you go back to and that you communicate to others.
That’s the second piece that I want to tell you. It’s great that you have a vision, but when things are rough, you need the persistence to communicate that vision early and often, to communicate what you’re building, to communicate what’s in the art of the possible. The stories that you tell about where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re going as a team, as an organization, as a man, as a leader, as a woman, are critical. Communicating that early and often…very, very important.
Now, from a persistence perspective, you don’t want to wait until everything falls apart to communicate vision and where you’re going. Do that when risk is low. Do that when emotions are low, not high. You still have to do it in the rough times, too, but you don’t just wait until the rough times. Part of persistence is over communicating all the time where you’re going, in good times and in bad. A consistent message of the vision and direction that you’re taking your family, your business, your community, your nation. I wish some of the politicians out there would pay attention to this part, because we could sure use it.
The next thing that I recommend in terms of persistence is to get ready for the spears, the knives, and the crabs. The spears are what’s going to be thrown at you anonymously, behind the shadows. Anytime you meet success, people are going to throw spears at you and try to take you down. The knives are what’s going to come out from the people closest to you, even the people you love. The knives will come out and go into your back. A lot of times, just because people are afraid. They’re afraid of the success you might find, or more importantly, they’re just afraid of being left behind. They might try to put the knives in you just to slow you down and keep you with them. But know for a fact that the spears and the knives are going to come out.
Then finally the crabs, the crabs in the bucket, your peers, your associates, your competitors, anybody that sees you making success, will do just like the crabs do. They’ll reach up and pull you back into the bucket with the rest of the crabs. Being prepared for that and ready is absolutely essential.
Understand also, this is another one, that success is incremental. If you’re going to make headway, you’ve got to know that success is incremental. To be persistent, it’s base hits, not home runs. Right? Review your success points and your base hits along the way. We do that all the time on my team. We stop and whenever we’re getting frustrated we say, “Wait a minute. Let’s look at where we’ve been here and what we’ve achieved.”
Then finally, don’t ever quit. Mullah Mike never quit no matter how bad the attacks got or how much weight they lost; he and his team always persevered. They told themselves, “We’re not quitting.” You always want to keep a never quit attitude. A good way to do that is to train, physically. Build up your physical and spiritual resilience, and just repeat to yourself that you’re never going to quit. Once you quit once, you’ll allow quitting to happen every time. That’s where the persistence comes in.
Next week, we’re going to dive into patience, that final P in the tradecraft to inspire people to go up those ladders. For now what I want you to do is I want you to go to mannup.com. If you haven’t enrolled in my tribe and the content that I’m putting out there, you’ve got to do this. This is a movement. This is a life of work and mastery to lead from the rooftop. I’m going to be pushing it to you all the time. Get inside our tribe, mannup.com. You’ll be glad you did.
I’ll see you on the roof top.