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Leading Today: 7 Things to Do Before You Quit

By Stan Toler | 39th general superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene. He resides in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Babe Ruth said, "Every strike brings me closer to the next home run."

That would be good news to the little leaguer practicing his batting, holding his bat in one hand and throwing the ball into the air with the other. After six attempts and as many strikes, he turned to his father and said, "You know, Dad, I'm getting to be a pretty good pitcher!" Circumstances changed the game plan, but his attitude salvaged a win.

Your deadline approaches. The troops are restless. Expectations are high, but it just isn't coming together. You're tempted to call it a day—to quit. The fact is, you might be close to a homerun. Now is the time to keep going.

The apostle didn't say he "sailed" toward the mark; he "pressed" toward it. Here are seven things to do instead of quitting.

1. Review your purpose. You might ask "What in the world am I doing?" That's a good question. What was your initial motivation? What has changed? Is it time to re-purpose?

2. Assess your investment. What's your capital in the venture: time, energy, personnel, money, prayers? What ownership do you share? You might be too near the end of the diving board to think about a wading pool.

3. Consult with your peers. Maybe you've never done anything such as this before, but somebody has in one way or another. Who are the entrepreneurs? Find them. Buy them lunch. Start asking the probing questions.

4. Analyze your approach. Are there different roads to the same destination? Check your Google maps or fire up the GPS. You may need to recalculate your route.

5. Reward your milestones. Congratulate yourself for aiming at the goal instead of the sideline. When you take a scary step, celebrate it. That chocolate mocha may never taste so good as it will after you decide to keep going.

6. Recognize your real enemies. Your barriers may have faces on them. Then again they might be in the form of negative thinking, leftover childhood attitudes or a success phobia.

7. Take a break. You may think you need more money, more staff or more experience when all you may need is a timeout. Your biggest dream may follow a game of hoops. Your grandest idea may blossom on the golf course.

There's a "Ten" in tenacity, not a Zero. Put a shoulder to the boulder until there is a breakthrough. Babe Ruth is in the hall of fame because he refused to let the strikeouts rule his thinking—or his life.

What will be your story? Will you be known more for throwing in the towel than carrying the torch?

Decide to persevere. Acknowledge what you are able to do—and what God is able to do through you—and then simply use the best of your ability to keep going.

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