Relentless Forward Motion

What does it take to be a great leader? It’s something that I’ve thought a lot about lately, with more and more leaders failing and a seeming dirth of new leaders to take their place.

Then it hit me…

It’s what it takes to be great in any endeavor we take on. We have to have relentless forward motion.

Relentless Forward Motion

What do you bring to mind when you think about relentless forward motion? I want you to consider what each word in this simple phrase means:

RELENTLESS: oppressively constant; incessant

FORWARD: onward so as to make progress; toward a successful conclusion

MOTION: the action or process of being moved

Let’s put those definitions together to make it relatable as a leader. Relentless forward motion in leadership is:

The constant, incessant movement and progress toward a goal.

Isn’t that what we do? We move, relentlessly, toward the vision or mission of the organization. It’s movement upon movement, even when it may appear we’re not moving forward because we’re considering our next move or option. 

Whether in my organizational or personal life, I’ve had to practice relentless forward motion. Whenever this term rears its head, I think back to my first marathon.

I had a goal in mind. To cross the finish line after moving forward for 26.2 miles. That meant incessantly putting one foot in front of the other. Each step along the way brought me one step closer to a successful conclusion. 

Or what about in my organization? Each day, I put one word in front of the other to continue writing and building up my website, consulting opportunities, and other business initiatives. It is relentless forward motion.

You have to have this as well. And you can.

How To Have Relentless Forward Motion As A Leader

What does it take to be a leader with relentless forward motion? You have to do the following things…

Decide what needs to be done:

This is the creation of your mission or vision plan. You must have a clear, defining picture of what you want or need to accomplish as a leader.

You may decide you need to turn your organization around from a flailing, failing organization to an organization that brings in a constant revenue stream. It could be to build up new leaders who lead morally and ethically. Or it could be the desire to change lives in a foreign country.

You have to decide what your successful conclusion looks like.

Move through challenges:

If your mission or vision is worth leading to, you won’t have smooth sailing. You’ll face obstacles and difficulties that will make you want to quit. You may want to wave the white flag and say, “I’m done!”

But relentless forward motion leaders don’t do that.

They use the white flag to wipe the sweat and tears off their face. They see challenges as distractions that need to be overcome. They are willing to go through hell to overcome whatever comes their way.

It’s not easy. You’ll struggle, mutter, and doubt yourself through the process. Yet, you continue to move forward because something is pushing you forward. You know what you set out to do and you’re going to do it.

Rally with friends:

Maybe the only way I could complete my first full marathon was through my friends and family’s love and support. There were times on the course I called my wife crying, telling her I couldn’t make it. Her words were encouraging. She told me I could do it. 

The lady I ran next to for 19 miles told me she’d see me at the finish line. The crowds of spectathletes in orange shirts cheered out my name and told me I could finish.

Leaders have to rally with friends. People who are willing to tell you that you can do this. You can finish your race, your leadership journey, your mission.

Leadership is often lonely because we reject the idea that we need others. But we all need someone.

Get a group of people who can cheer you on. This could be creating your own mastermind group, joining the local Chamber of Commerce, or partnering with Toastmasters.

Don’t neglect the power of relationships.

Keep Moving Forward

Yes, there are days, weeks, and even months when you will feel like you can’t continue toward your goal. Let me tell you that you can. You can make that relentless forward motion, even if it is the shuffle of one foot in front of the other. It’s movement; it’s toward the conclusion. 

Keep moving. Don’t stop. Don’t give in to the doubt.

If you need someone to cheer you on, reach out to me via email. I will be your cheerleader.

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