What is the one thing that separates success from failure? Why do some businesses fail while others excel? In a word, fortitude. In spite of skill, education, talent, or desire, success evades all who do not have the fortitude to see success through to fruition.
I have interviewed many candidates for new and challenging job assignments. As candidates deliver their résumés of accomplishments, it is amazing to witness that one special something that makes a leader choose a less educated candidate over a candidate who is clearly more educated. It’s that spark of confidence and surety that speaks volumes about the probable success of a candidate, even before the discussion about specifics of the assignment they are being interviewed for takes place.
Successful leaders surround themselves with people who have the one common quality of all successful leaders: strength in the face of adversity or difficulty. Not the most educated or the most skilled, but the one with the fortitude to succeed in the face of impossibilities.
Another interesting aspect about the word itself is that it begins with “fort,” defined as a “fortified building or strategic position.” Then notice the second part of the word, “itude.” It makes me think of the word “attitude.” Maybe a proper definition of fortitude is “a strategic place of attitude to keep going, to not give up.”
I have learned that everything is impossible until it is done just once. I remember hearing about a historic event that occurred on May 6, 1954. Paced by his friends, Chris Brasher and Chris Chataway, a twenty-five-year-old medical student named Roger Bannister ran a mile in 3:59.4 on the Iffley Road Track in Oxford, England, becoming the first human to run a sub four-minute mile. Since then, more than five hundred people have accomplished the “impossible,” including five high school students.
Here’s how to identify future leaders who will help you solidify success:
Find people who are daring—people who dare to do what others are afraid to do.
Hire people who are destined—people who are driven by a destiny for greatness.
Embrace people who are dedicated to your common goals.
Surround yourself with people who are devoted to you.
Employ people who will not be denied victory.
“Fortitude creates winners and champions that aren’t always perfect but perfectly persistent.”
Allene Vanoirschot, Daddy’s Little Girl
Fortitude is written by Wes Harris