When I talk to c-suite executives and senior leaders about what has made them successful, two related themes come up over and over again: resilience and persistence.

So it’s worth asking: What is it that makes someone resilient?

After trying, and trying, and trying, what makes someone dust themselves off and try yet again? Why do they persist?

A few weeks ago on LinkedIn, I shared a video of a little boy trying to land a box jump. Jump after jump after jump, he can’t quite get his feet onto the top of the box, and he falls. A lot. He is clearly frustrated. But he always gets back up.


I can deduce two reasons for his persistence and resilience:

1. He has a clear, attainable goal. It’s him and the box. His focus is singular: reach the top. Land the jump. He can visualize it in his mind so clearly. He knows if he just executes well, he will get there.

2. He isn’t alone. In the video, you hear a man’s voice in the background. Right before the last take, he comes into frame. The man brings the boy’s energy back up; he pats him, claps, speaks to him with an energetic voice, and matter-of-factly touches the top of the box as if to say “it’s right here, just put your feet here.”

Much to the relief of the viewer, the boy lands the jump. The joy they both radiate is so strong it’s impossible not to smile!

I love this video for so many reasons, but mostly because it reminds me of the work I am privileged to do with my clients.

I help my clients build a plan to define what their “box jump” is. In fact, we work together to define goals that resonate for every stage of their life’s work. This plan makes these leaders excited and confident about the way forward. Like the little boy, when their vision is clear, they know they just have to execute and they will get there.

And for the times when energy is low, stress is high, and blame, anger and worry creep in, coaches like me are trained to help clients sharpen their focus and improve their performance. With sharper focus, leaders are more apt to inspire others, more open to innovation and possibility, and are far better able to pursue goals and lead teams of people. In other words, they perform at higher levels. They land their jumps and actually inspire others to do the same.

Coaching works. There are plenty of success stories to prove it. On top of that though, there is quantitative evidence. With new research, we have hard data that shows how working with a coach improves a leader’s performance. You can review the quantitative coaching data and its findings here.

If you’re looking to shore up your resilience and persistence in your work, let’s have a conversation.