Why “Don’t Give Up” is the Worst Advice
2020 sparked the necessary innovation. Churches, non-profits, and companies pivoted overnight from in-person to digital. The emergency progress has led to fantastic steps forward, but most of us are still processing through a complicated list of decisions.
As Americans, we thrive off the stories of those who “don’t give up.” These celebrations result from individuals and organizations that inspire grit, perseverance, and determination.
Often, we remain quiet towards those who pivot and redirect their plan. These leaders understand the power of giving up for the sake of moving forward.
It requires intentional wisdom to manage the tension of not giving up versus giving up. You keep yourself and the people you serve, “What’s working?” versus “What’s not working?”
2020 became the year you started the podcast, wrote the blog, went all-in on social media, planned the newsletter, livestreamed videos, and the list could go further. Now would be an excellent time for you and the team to decipher between things you will give up and the others that will keep going.
Consistency matters to the people you serve. I wonder how many people were close to a breakthrough in a new endeavor but gave up before they could see the fruits of their labor.
Today, I want to offer you a few insights on how to know when to give up and to know when to keep going on the areas that you innovated in 2020:
Prioritize the projects.
You have worked with a new normal since March. Pause for a moment. Decipher the projects that matter most right now. Compare notes with the team. Prioritizing right now permits you to say yes and no to new initiatives.
Set the parameters.
Innovation without a plan is a shot in the dark. Setting the parameters says, “We’re going to do this for the best of our ability for three months and then evaluate…” Most of us have tons of energy starting a new endeavor but get tired three to four steps in the process. Give yourself a date long enough to give you time to comprehend the value and challenges of an innovation.
Clarify the win and metrics.
If we’re honest, we love metrics when it tells us the stories we want to hear. Whether you find yourself in the middle of the pandemic pivot or you’re deciphering the next innovation, do yourself and the team a favor — agree on the win and metrics. Wins mean qualitative and metrics mean quantitively. They balance each other out in decision making.
It takes time for people to adapt. I saw firsthand people who swore off social media join Facebook and Instagram to stay up-to-date with the church. Find out from the people you serve what they value and where they might have struggles. Asking for feedback helps you realize that people might not even know about the new project you started. Find out from the people you serve before you make any further decisions.
Evaluate with options.
You find yourself at a crossroad. Do I give up this project or keep going? I have found it helpful for myself to layout these three options:
- Keep going — It might take more time, but we feel we’re on to something.
- Make adjustments — We have a good thing going, but we need to adjust the timing or content to see this endeavor play out.
- Give up — We could use our resources better elsewhere.
Knowing these options from the get-go and couple them with the feedback you receive. That will help you have a clear picture of wins and metrics.
Embrace failure with reflection.
You might give up several innovations you started in 2020. Take the time to reflect on what worked and did not work. These conversations provide vital data for your future decisions. Don’t let failure keep from moving forward.
“Don’t give up” can be the worst advice, especially in energy-draining projects. On the same token, giving up can come right before the breakthrough. Leadership requires us to have the wisdom to know the difference.
Originally published at https://peterenglert.com.