The first thing that comes to mind when you hear that word is likely the movie “True Grit,” the classic 1969 movie starring John Wayne about a drunken, hard-nosed U.S. Marshal and a Texas Ranger who help a stubborn young woman track down her father’s murderer in Indian territory. Merriam-Webster defines ‘grit’ as “firmness of mind or spirit; unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger.” That would certainly describe John Wayne to a tee! And what a compliment for someone to be described as having grit. How about you? Does your character contain an element of grit?
Michael M. Reuter, Director at The Gerald P Buccino Center for Leadership Development, shared the following message about grit in a recent email, and I’d like to share it with you:
“To: The Great Leaders Who Have a Passion for Continuous Learning
Angel Lee Duckworth, psychologist, is known for her study of a psychological trait known as grit. In her 2013 TED presentation, The Key to Success? Grit, she defines grit: “Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
Dan Rockwell in a recent post, The Editor of Forbes on Grit, cites Rich Karlgaard, publisher of Forbes magazine, who states that “grit is a form of intelligence…. In the real world, smarts isn’t about looking for the next star student with a 4.0 or having an IQ that can boil water. Instead, it’s about the importance of hard work, of perseverance and resilience. Call it grit.”
Grit is the stuff of great leaders. It is that conscious “extra” and “above-and-beyond” that they give to everything that they do, think about or dream. It is the relentless spark that gives fire to the embers of their passion, the driving force of their life – the what they have chosen to be, the what they have chosen to do.
Vince Lombardi, renowned football coach, said: ‘The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.’ Grow, feed your grit often with renewed dedication to your life’s purpose, that each moment of your magnificent journey you have applied the best of yourself to the task at hand. Continue to be more than you ever dreamed you could be… and more… so much more.”
I have witnessed many of our professionals demonstrate grit, applying themselves 110% to a challenging engagement or project. It takes fortitude to see something through to the end, especially when there are obstacles and objections along the way. The next time you are faced with a difficult situation, remember John Wayne… and get your grit on.