Jared Leto on Persistence

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In a recent interview, Jared Leto, the Oscar award winning actor and lead singer of the rock band Thirty Seconds to Mars, stated that the advice he offers to aspiring artists is that they must “be compelled beyond a reasonable doubt to do this. Because if you are not, it’s not worth it. It’s too painful.”

The idea of persistence is just as applicable in leaders. In your pre-leader days, do you remember leaving work without a care in the world? Being off duty meant no responsibility, complete freedom. It would have been easy to remain in a job where you only needed to worry about yourself, but something drove you to want more.

If you don’t have this drive, Jared Leto says, “you should just do something normal, for lack of a better term, because the uncertainty and instability is too great.”

Leaders who are successful do not give up on accomplishing their goals. Despite setbacks (which are inevitable) and people who will tell you it can’t be done (also inevitable), persistence means rising beyond the fear and self-doubt, towards action.

The book The Characteristics of a Successful Entrepreneur provides a few suggestions to help get you through those rough patches:

  • Don’t panic.
  • Take time to ponder and understand the situation.
  • Consider every option and every possibility to solve the problem.
  • Invite a trusted mentor to advise you on the matter.
  • Engage employees who can help.
  • Make a decision, then act.
  • Evaluate the results. If they are unsatisfactory, try something else.
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