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Alyssa Sherwin 

Mrs. Jenkins 

EBA Honors English 10 

14 May 2019 

Persistence in Leadership 

A leader: someone or something that guides in a specific way, especially by going ahead 

of others.​ ​In order to be a successful leader, one must persist through good and bad times. 

Persisting through challenges is a superior way to enhance your leadership abilities. As we 

advance our skills, we see that facing our obstacles head on and persisting through them can help 

us strive to be a better leader. 

Persistence: firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or 

opposition. Although it is a difficult trait to obtain, persistence is said to be an important trait by 

a handful of different leaders. According to Kristyn Hammond “[persistence] is also the ability to 

confront challenges and retain your perspective - even when the challenges of leadership become 

stressful or complicated.” To persist through challenges, leaders must be able to recognize the 

obstacles they face and overcome them. When any leader encounters a challenge, their first 

instinct should be to attack it with intensity and determination to find a solution. The “ability to 

continue looking for new solutions even when former solutions fail” is also an important 

characteristic of an outstanding leader (Hammond). “Gaining [persistence] requires 

determination and a mindset that — no matter what happens — you will stick to your principles 

and goals” (Hopkin). You cannot expect to persevere through something by just waiting until it 

passes. A leader once said, “life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass; it is about learning to 
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dance in the rain.” You cannot live your whole life waiting for the obstacles to pass by; instead, 

do something about it. Learn to push through these problems. I promise life will be much better 

and you will be a better leader if you do. “Perseverance can be developed from within;” leaders 

who have gained a leg up on stamina, you can create a culture with it (Proffitt). 

Daymond John - “a pioneer in the fashion industry, a Shark on ABC’s Shark Tank, a 

multiple New York Times best-selling author, branding guru and highly sought after 

motivational speaker” (“Daymond John Store”). Daymond had a rough start to life because his 

family did not have the best financial record. Taking this into consideration, his net worth is now 

$300 million because he knew how to work with what he had and persisted to make himself 

known. Daymond “lived small, but there was no cap on [his] dreaming, no ceiling on what was 

possible” (John 33). While Daymond had financial issues growing up, he still found ways to 

persist to his goal. One of these ways was to make an investment in his future. He set up a 

share-a-ride business that was cheaper and more efficiently to have a better business and go 

further in the world. He is now telling young entrepreneurs to “take ​affordable ​next steps” (John 

37). If he didn’t take the steps he had -- starting a rideshare company, getting a head start on his 

financial growth at a young age, etc. -- he may not be where he is today. He took these 

opportunities, learned to work with them, and persisted through the hurdles that he was faced 

with to make his end goal a reality. He is the millionaire that he is today because he endured 

through the barriers.  

I have had personal experiences that have helped me realize that persisting through rough 

times can allow you to become a better leader in the future. In late April and early May of 2019, 

I went to the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) for DECA. At this 
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conference, I learned about the different traits that could make anyone a better leader. According 

to Alec Romero - one of the speakers at the conference - in order to see better results as a leader, 

you have to push through the challenges. In addition, Rafael De Leon talked about remembering 

past obstacles. As briefly mentioned before in the article written by Hammond, you cannot get 

further in your path if you do not recognize and push through the obstacles that challenged you 

in the past. I also attended Kempsville’s Leadership Workshop where I acquired the knowledge 

that pushing through the challenges you’re faced with can not only help you now, but this 

persistence can help you in the future too. Different speakers at the workshop explained the 

effects on your future based on your actions now. Pushing through the obstacles as you face 

them can help you get further as a leader; we can see this in Daymond John’s story.  

As seen from other leaders, ​The Power of Broke,​ and my personal experiences, 

persistence is a big key in leadership. As a leader, it helps you reach an end goal quicker and 

more efficiently. By recognizing the research that Hammond made, the personal story from 

Daymond John, and the experiences I have witnessed, leaders can acknowledge the fact that 

persistence helps excel leaders to reach their goal in a more comprehensive and timely manner.  

 
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Works Cited 

“Daymond John Store.” ​DaymondJohn.com, ​https://daymondjohn.com/#bio​. Accessed 06 May 

2019. 

Hammond, Kristyn. “Why Is It Important to Be Persistent as a Leader?” ​Bizfluent, ​Bizfluent, 11 

Feb. 2019, ​https://bizfluent.com/info-12017434-important-persistent-leader.html​.   

Hopkin, Michael Ray. “Leadership and Persistence.” ​Lead on Purpose​, 6 Apr. 2010, 

https://leadonpurposeblog.com/2010/04/05/leadership-and-persistence/​.  

John, Daymond, and Daniel Paisner. ​The Power of Broke: How Empty Pockets, a Tight Budget, 

and a Hunger for Success Can Become Your Greatest Competitive Advantage. ​Currency, 

an Imprint if the Crown Publishing Group, 2017. 

Proffitt, Nancy. “Perseverance: The Most Powerful Leadership Trait.” Proffitt Management 

Solutions, Inc., 1 Jan. 2018, 

http://proffittmanagement.com/perseverance-the-most-powerful-leadership-trait/​.