Perseverance. Patience. Stick-to-it-ness. Staying the course. Whatever you want to call it, the will to keep going in the face of what feels like unrelenting opposition is hard.
With the baseball teams I coach I talk about the most important pitch being the next pitch. It does not matter what just happened because you cannot go back in time and change it. What does matter is that you get ready for the next pitch and try your best to not make the same mistake again. I came across this quote by Jacob Riis that I really like and that speaks directly to this thought:
When nothing seems to help, I go back and look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it–but all that had gone before.
As a leader, it is challenging to take the path of the stonecutter, putting in tremendous effort day after day with what appears to be little to show for your work until, one day, the stone spits in two and you get the lasting result you want. Keep at it. You will get where you want to be, even if it takes longer than you think it should, because you have fought the good fight and won the day.