“Courage & perseverance—the antidote for mediocracy.”

The name Hellen Keller is synonymous with courage by overcoming great adversity. She was the first deaf and blind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree when graduating from Radcliffe College. On September 14, 1964, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civil honor for peacetime service.
Someone once said, “Mediocrity is the best of the worst and the worst of the best.” Courage to leave the safety of the shoreline and swim out where you can’t touch bottom is called leadership. Followers are willing to walk on the water as long as leaders are around to show them where the rocks are located.

Mediocre is a French word meaning, “middle, neither very good or very bad, average.” Courage is having the heart and attitude to deal with danger, difficulty, or the painful without withdrawing. Perseverance is the inner fortitude not to quite when everything around you is screaming—it’s not worth it.

There is nothing worse than mediocre leaders. They are the leaders who never set goals, always avoiding risk, and refuse to face the fury of the storm without making excuses. They are a threat to the future of any organization, especially when resources are limited, and the future is doubtful.

Courage is facing the unknown, setting goals, having a plan to reach them, and building a team that refuses to be average. It demands changing the person you look at in the mirror from mediocrity to excellence before attempting to lead. If you a leader and don’t have the courage to make that change you forfeit your right to lead.

“Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did. Perseverance is not a long race. It is many short races one after the other. Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th. Through hard work, perseverance, and a faith in God, you can live your dreams.”

Hellen Keller had neither the advantage of looking in a mirror or hearing the encouragement of her own voice; yet she displayed a brand of courage and perseverance that only the greatest of leaders possess.

The ultimate leadership question, what will it take to make you call it quits?