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Global Grit: Relentless Leader

Relentless leaders take ground.

Published on May 01, 2016

Dan Britton

 “But we are not those who draw back and are destroyed, but those who have faith and obtain life.”    - Hebrews 10:39


All leaders love to have goals, and they pursue them with everything they have. Nothing gets in their way! They will give their all—all the time. They will not give up or give in. They will not give out. They are relentless.

“It’s hard to beat relentless.”

– Jay Bilas

As we unpack this concept of a relentless leader, there are several good one-word definitions of relentless:

  • Unyielding

  • Unbending

  • Determined

  • Never-ceasing

  • Persistent

However, the opposite of relentless is to relent.  Here are some one-word definitions of relent:

  • Abandon

  • Soften

  • Relax

  • Bend

  • Weaken

You could probably rephrase the Hebrews 10:39 to read, “But we are not those who RELENT, but those who are RELENTLESS.” God wants us to move forward, be strong and not give up. As followers of Christ, we need to have relentless love, pursue relentless devotion and be on a relentless mission.

Relentless means to be strong.

Relent means to be weak.

Working with our FCA international leaders, I have quickly discovered that they are relentless. They are leaders who have grit and guts. They don’t buckle or fade, rust out or burn out. They have tenacity and fortitude.

As they serve faithfully to reach coaches and athletes in their country, they are able to absorb the criticism, obstacles, setbacks and funding challenges.  Through it all, they keep advancing. They keep their eyes on the mission and are willing to find creative solutions when things don't go as planned. As a result, I have learned from them, and my love and commitment for them grows.

There are two types of leaders – busy leaders and relentless leaders; one covers ground and the other takes ground!

  1. Busy leaders cover ground. We need to be driven to take ground every single day. Most leaders just cover ground but don’t take ground. One is a matter of staying busy, and the other is a matter of being strategic. Busy leaders are distracted by the tyranny of the urgent; they are often reactive and responding to the needs of the moment. They are frequently playing defense. Busy leaders maintain and manage, but rarely advance. Simply stated, they cover ground.

  2. Relentless leaders take ground. Relentless, strategic leaders remain focused on the finish line; they are proactive and align their time, energy and activity around the most important priorities. They are frequently on offense. They remove distractions and avoid interruptions. Relentless leaders move forward and take ground. God is calling us to take ground. Kingdom leaders are relentless leaders who are strategic, not busy. They are decisive, not hesitant. So the next time someone asks you how you're doing, let the answer be, "I am strategic and taking ground." 


Remember, relentless leaders don’t cover ground; they take ground.


“Father, teach me how to be a relentless leader. I desire to take ground for You. Show me how to move from being busy to being strategic. I ask for Your power and might to lead relentlessly all the time. In Jesus’ name, amen.”