Standing before a weary nation during World War II, Winston Churchill tried to lift the spirits of the British people. Knowing their fight was difficult, he painted a picture by saying, “The nose of the bulldog has been slanted backward so he can breath without letting go.” His image worked and the British people prevailed over Hitler.
The substance of Leaders is persistence. It courses through their veins. They have a ceaseless attitude that drives them forward every day. The crowd around them might even mock this “hardheadedness,” but strong leaders hang on.
They imitate the bulldog as if it was second-nature. A bulldog wouldn’t be a bulldog if he gave up. A leader is defined through persistence.
But there is a time to let go. The moment will arrive when persistence no longer pays off. Maybe the cost is too high or the resources are not in place. How does the leader know when to relent? When should a leader move on?
Let me offer three questions leaders should ask before deciding to move on.
- Is there a better chance of victory from a new direction? – A leader is foolish if persistence is based in stubbornness. Evaluate the situation and determine if a new angle of attack will help.
- Are reinforcements available? – Everyone gets tired. If resources are available to let you or your people take a break, then go for it. Rest. Let the reinforcements carry the load for a while.
- Is God saying move on? – This is the most important question. What is heaven saying? A new angle of attack or reinforcements may not be available. But if God is saying move on, then it’s time to move on. Wise leaders give Him the final say.
The answers to these questions will help provide perspective during seasons of tunnel-vision. Even the bulldog knows to eventually let go.
What questions help you identify when to move on?