Agile project management

Agility and Persistence – Two Sides of the Same Coin?

by Andrej Lovsin
May 4, 2021 - 4 min

I recently heard the thought, “Persistence is the biggest part of winning.” This aspect seems to be one of the most important in business and is the guideline that can bring great results if we interpret it properly and approach it correctly. Today, I want to share my views on persistence and show how it is also associated with an agile approach.

The recipes for success are simple

Interestingly, so-called formulas for success or pathways leading to desired goals are actually simple. This applies to both private life and the business world. So where does it go wrong, you probably wonder? It goes wrong because even simple things require a lot of consistency and focus on following the steps and moving towards the desired goal as consistently as possible.

Persistence and agility in business are essential virtues

One way to achieve this is the combination of agility and persistence. Based on my experience, this combination leads to results the fastest and most effectively.

Agility in the business world and the realization of projects are necessary, especially from the point of view that we know how to adjust the direction and don’t get stuck in certain situations. On the other hand, this does not mean that we are changing things all the time, which can be a considerable risk with an agile approach. It is vital that we do not modify the goal but adjust the path to it if necessary, and persistence plays an important role at this point. Persistence is the virtue that allows us to keep the goal in sight and do everything required to discover the best way to achieve it.

Roles from the past have been reversed

In the past, persistence in the business world was one of those virtues that were very often among the key drivers of success. Still, people were often extremely persistent and, on the other hand, very non-agile, which could not bring optimal results. But the challenge of modern times is just the opposite. Many people perceive agility as a kind of mantra that idealizes adaptability and encourages constant change and adaptation. On the other hand, this approach can (too) quickly lead in the direction when people lack persistence and reject a path to the goal too fast, or even worse – they are constantly changing plans, which cannot lead to success.

Just when it becomes challenging, it is necessary to be persistent

In my experience, it is always the case that when we embark on something new, we first have to put in much effort, and on the other hand, we do not achieve significant results immediately. In this part, persistence is critical as it encourages us to keep going. The more consistent we are, the sooner or later the results will show that we would not see and recognize if giving up too quickly. On the other hand, it is important to use agility in the business world because with its help, we can determine if something needs to be changed on the way to the goal, which saves us a lot of time and, consequently, the effort would otherwise be in vain.

It is also important to realize that the effect of persistence grows with experience. The more experienced we are and the more paths we have traversed, the easier and faster we can recognize where our persistence is taking us. With enough experience, we also become more pragmatic and look for pragmatic solutions at every step, which in my opinion, are the ones that have the greatest value and significance.

How best to navigate in a business world?

If I had to give one piece of advice to anyone looking to build successful business paths, it would be this: Choose your goal and commit to persevere on the path to it with all your resources, effort, and knowledge. At the same time, always have a compass called agility with you, which will help you choose even more optimal routes at the right time, make some more turns and finally get to where you were basically intended.