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Ethical Edge Letters on Integrity  

Click here for Russell Williams' bio

Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Focus on relationship innovation
Monday, June 07, 2010
A Tribute to John Wooden
Discouragement is an occupational hazard

“What we do not see, what most of us never suspect of existing, is the silent but irresistible power which comes to the rescue of those who fight on in the face of discouragement.” — Napoleon Hill

Discouragement is the occupational hazard of competent, successful, goal-achieving people, organizations and nations. As a Baby-Boomer teen in 1961, I was a witness to history when John F. Kennedy mobilized the resources of a nation to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. That huge, multiyear national project succeeded on the foundation of dogged persistence that pushed over, under, around and through a mountain of failure. And yet, on a July evening in 1969, the world listened and watched as the Eagle landed!

Triumph is the piercing arrow in the quiver of individuals who choose to persevere through discouragement. Calvin Coolidge stated, “Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Genius will not; education will not. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”

Business leaders are doing heavy lifting right now as they creatively work to get a sputtering economy back on track. However, some of the biggest lifting is being done by competent, talented and ready-to-work seasoned professionals who are treading treacherous unemployment waters while seeking that next right job. It is tough times for far too many folks, locally and nationally.

One significant professional in my sphere of influence is inspiring me by his example of not allowing unemployment to destroy his positive attitude and powerful persistence. Daily, his tenacious keep-on, keeping-on actions get him linked in to his expanding network. He makes the cold calls and the follow-up calls. He attends job fairs and business-networking organizations to lend counsel to others while being supported.

My friend’s persevering clarity to face down discouragement reminds me of the words spoken by the founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators, Cameron Townshend, in his recorded moment of discouragement over 100 years ago: “Faith, mighty faith, the object sees and looks to God alone; laughs at impossibility and says it shall be done!”

Mission Integrity Action

I move persistently in the direction of today’s goals and objectives. When discouragement rears its head, I reach out to encourage someone and, in doing so, I kick discouragement to the sidelines. Today, I move courageously forward, even if, at first, I stumble, side-step or miss-step.