Quitting is a Leadership Skill

AUDIO: Why Few People Experience the Upside of Never Quitting

by Greg Yates | Breakthrough Leadership

Spoiler alert… This MIGHT be a trick question!

The economy had turned for the worse but I was determined to see it through. My objectives were clear and my commitment was firm. I was convinced that keeping my resolve would result in victory. Quoted jobs would turn into orders. Projects that were stalled would recover if I just held on. I took a contrarian viewpoint. People who keep their heads when all others are losing theirs will prevail. Successful people buy when everyone else is selling, and sell when others are buying. I was going to stay the course.

And I did. To the bitter end.

Everyone lost their jobs. I lost tens of millions of dollars in equity and property. I ended up in prison. I never experienced the “upside” by never quitting.

Why Leaders Should Be Quitters at Certain Times

Never quitting has some interesting connotations. The idea of “quitting” needs some context. As leaders we tend to pursue to the end and that can often be a great quality… with the right context.

But lets consider some counterintuitive possibilities!

We’ve all heard it said that, “winners never quit and quitters never win.” Really? What if there are times we SHOULD quit? Have you ever heard the one about climbing the ladder and then realizing it was leaning against the WRONG WALL?

If you’re like me, and the thought of quitting leaves a bad taste in your mouth, you need to ask yourself the following 6 questions. If you’re pursuing Breakthrough Leadership, I am confident these questions will help you determine if QUITTING, is really Quitting or if it’s the path to real Breakthrough.

Here we go.

#1 – Why am I quitting?

  1. What’s driving this?
  2. Or, Is it doubt or is it clarity?

#2 – What is the likely result of quitting vs not quitting?

  1. Will quitting point me toward my clearly stated breakthrough.
  2. Or, will it limit me?

#3 – Am I seeking pleasure or avoiding pain in this decision?

  1. In other words, are there temporary influences overpowering my long term objectives?

#4 – Who else will be impacted?

  1. Sometimes we don’t want to change course because we don’t want others to be impacted.
  2. Is this impacting an otherwise clear decision?

#5 – How will this choice change you?

  1. Will it move you toward your greatest contribution and to breakthrough leadership.
  2. Or, will it move you away from it?

#6 – Will quitting lead to regret… or to Breakthrough?

You see the reason few people experience the upside is because they don’t define the upside. Without clear vision, purpose, values and evaluation, persisting in any objective becomes a stray bullet.

Breakthrough is not designed to question every past decision but it is a treatment that ensures foundation decision making remains dynamic.

Quitting, believe it or not, is a developed leadership skill… and Quitting can lead to Breakthrough.

Add your comments to the conversation: What are some of the most difficult things to quit as a leader? Post your reply below.

About Greg

Greg Yates has been a Chicago area businessman for over 30 years. He’s the author of the book, "Broken - How Being Broken Unlocked The Greatest Success of My Life". He has simultaneously owned 14 different businesses in a variety of industries; including real estate, manufacturing, payroll, and technology. Greg has also been an investor and a board member. He attended Olivet Nazarene University. He has a passion for flying. He’s had a pilot’s license for over 30 years and owned a variety of airplanes. Greg and his wife Vicki have been married over 37 years. They have a son, a daughter and seven grandchildren.

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