5/16/2007

PERSEVERANCE

Filed under: — Doug Contreras @ 1:28 am on

My favorite example of Perseverance is depicted in a scene from the classic movie - THE AFRICAN QUEEN. Charlie played by Humphrey Bogart and Rosie played by Katharine Hepburn are stranded because Charlie’s boat has become stuck in the mud. Having been through so much and realizing that they are close to the end of their journey, Charlie is determined to get to the lake. He jumps overboard and begins to tow the QUEEN with a rope. After doing this for hours, he comes back aboard totally exhausted. When Rosie sees leeches on his back, she shrieks and he frantically tears off his shirt. She applies salt and helps him remove the leeches. Shivering in revulsion, Charlie says how he hates the "filthy little devils", but knows that to keep the boat moving, he has to get back into the water with his tow rope.

While it is possible to be in the right place at the right time when making a sale or introducing a product, I’ve never seen luck affect performance. Process improvement takes deliberate and continual effort and sometimes this means we need to get back in the water with our tow rope and deal with the leeches.

DOUG CONTRERAS
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