THE COM­MU­NI­CA­TOR The im­por­tance of be­ing per­sis­tent and per­se­ver­ing

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Business & Appointments - - FRONT PAGE -

I’VE writ­ten to you be­fore about per­se­ver­ance. Or per­sis­tence. I can’t find much dif­fer­ence be­tween the two words. If you do, please let me know. Which ever word you pre­fer, I am go­ing to write about it again as I have just ex­pe­ri­enced a won­der­fully in­spir­ing ex­am­ple of why it con­tin­ues to be such an im­por­tant trait.

First, a word about the re­cent US midterms. Most of you faith­ful read­ers out there al­ready know I’m an Amer­i­can ci­ti­zen who is thrilled to be liv­ing here in Ire­land but re­mains riv­eted by cur­rent events in my home coun­try.

The most cur­rent topic for the mo­ment is, of course, this past week’s elec­tions.

The fo­cus will next be upon 2020: who needs to per­se­vere to re­tain po­si­tion and who needs to per­se­vere to re­gain it.

There­fore, I’m dou­bly com­mit­ted to para­phrase my lit­er­ary hero Os­car Wilde and talk to you to­day about the ‘im­por­tance of be­ing per­sis­tent’.

My in­spi­ra­tion for this week comes from Reg­gie Selma. “Him again?! We just read about him last week.” That’s right.

He’s that re­tired CNN pho­to­jour­nal­ist who is re­cast­ing him­self as a speaker. I wrote about him last week be­cause I was touched by his pos­i­tive ap­proach to adapt­ing to change and rein­ven­tion.

But what I didn’t tell you last week is worth shar­ing now. the news di­rec­tor or an as­sign­ment man­ager or any­one with enough clout to build rap­port and in­flu­ence with to move things for­ward.

On that third day, the num­ber one pre­sen­ter for the or­gan­i­sa­tion, who also hap­pened to be the first fe­male pre­sen­ter in the coun­try and was known through­out the land, walked by where I was sit­ting and smil­ing.

She peered down at me and ob­served: “You know, you Amer­i­cans. You smile so much, I think you all must have gas.”

Star­tled, (I think you would have been too, right?) I looked up at her. “I hear you,” I said, “but I prom­ise I’m sin­cere. And if you let me, I’ll show you there’s sub­stance be­hind the smile.”

From that mo­ment, I was able to gather a group for a small work­shop, and then a big­ger work­shop.

Then, over the course of three months, the en­tire news­room turned out and we de­vel­oped news-gath­er­ing and writ­ing pro­ce­dures and pre­sent­ing and re­port­ing tech­niques in a way that I would never have been able to achieve — with­out her help.

To this day, she re­mains one of my dear­est friends and has even be­come the god­mother to my daugh­ter Lulu.

Pos­i­tive per­se­ver­ance is not an anath­ema, folks, it’s some­thing to you can achieve and demon­strate over time. CON­SIS­TENT AND PER­SE­VERE

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