Our success and fulfillment in life demands to overcome challenges while advancing forward. This attribute especially is critical for those of us in leadership because without resilience, we cannot fully maximize our potential. It is extremely hard, if not possible, to lead without developing this crucial building block. We would be cornered and crammed somewhere and remain stuck there for a very long period of time unless we know how to endure temporal setbacks and roadblocks we may face as we pursue our purpose in life and organizational mission.
On the road to your destiny, what matters is not how many times you fall but how many times you got up and continued marching forward to the finish line. That is why I like what Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” In my recent book, persistence is one of the 9 cardinal building blocks for continued success in leadership.
In this edition of Restorers Connector, I would like to share with you how Jesus persisted and finally overcame the challenges He was facing to fulfill His assignment on earth. Below is the excerpt from the last part of the book where I featured three great leaders from three different industries: Religion (Jesus), Corporation (Jobs), and Politics (Mandela):
“…Jesus shouldered the burden, and paid the prices of leadership. The moment he was born, he found himself in a very uncomfortable place. He was born in a cold barn in a strange place while his parents were traveling (Luke 2: 1 – 7). Before he even knew it, while he was an infant under the age of two, persecution awaited him. Herod was seeking Jesus’ death. Because of that, his parents were forced into exile in Egypt (Matthew 2:13-16).
He entered a wilderness phase for forty days as he prepared to take a leadership initiative (Luke 4:2). The religious elites constantly spied, and blackmailed him. But these hardships didn’t stop him from launching a ministry whose influence still impact the 21st C.
While leading his mission, he experienced many setbacks like a betrayal from his own team member- Judas (Matthew 26:47). At the end of his leadership, his followers and disciples deserted him. He was ridiculed, and finally crucified (Matthew 27: 1 – 51). Regardless of these continual setbacks, he persisted, and endured. Regardless of the enormous challenges he was facing, Jesus never complained nor gave up and renounced his cause.
Interestingly, these seemingly misfortunate setbacks were happening for a reason. They all finally led to the fulfillment of a prophecy and his own vision: To sacrifice himself so that humanity may get saved, and have life in abundance (John 10: 10)
Jesus not only paid the prices of leadership including the ultimate price- his life, but also taught about the importance of accepting challenges and obstacles on the road toward our destiny as part of the process. He warned his followers by saying, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16: 33)
He also told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Matthew 16: 24) He didn’t want to cheat them thinking that following his ways were cheap and always driving on the highways…”
Let me conclude our discussion by this great quote from Farrel Droke: “Every great personal story you have to tell involves overcoming adversity. If you shy away from adversity, you take away your ability to tell stories.”