This week’s focus: I was listening to a radio interview with Lemmy, the founder, bass player and lead singer of the famous rock band, Motörhead. He was asked why the band had survived and were still going, when so many of their contemporaries had fallen by the wayside. “That’s easy,” said Lemmy, “We never gave up!

Persistence is one of the most under-rated drivers of business success. Sir James Dyson famously built over 4,000 prototypes before perfecting his bag-less vacuum cleaner, Tesco’s management took over 6 years to develop a scalable version of the grocer’s Express format, and Microsoft launched – and failed – with three versions of Excel before getting it right.

In fast-paced, often chaotic markets, it can be tempting to pursue only your immediate successes and to set your more challenging projects to one side. Yet, it is these, more difficult initiatives that often carry the biggest prizes. After all, if it’s difficult for you to deliver, the chances are it’s also difficult for your competitors.

Where are you giving up on difficult but important projects, when you should keep on keeping on?

Off The Record: Ace Of Spades by Motörhead

The pleasure is to play, it makes no difference what you say

I don’t share your greed, the only card I need

Is the ace of spades, the ace of spades

© Stuart Cross 2013. All rights reserved.