True Grit

You may have noticed that there’s been a lot of conversation lately about “grit.” This issue has arisen partly due to societal concerns about Millennials’ and their younger counterparts’, the so-called “911 Generation,” lack of resolve, determination, and perseverance. In reality, though, there are members of every generation in today’s workforce who could use more grit in their lives, especially after experiencing the hard knocks that real world situations are bound to offer all of us.

In her book, Rising Strong, Brené Brown discusses the reality of the problems and pitfalls people face as they move through life—but it’s what individuals do with these circumstances, particularly after falling or failing, that defines their character. At LEADon, we call this “True Grit.”

In our work developing Corporate Family™ leadership skills within organizations, we’ve witnessed many scenarios that reveal the diligence and determination behind true grit. Here are a few examples:

  • A leader with a combative team causing a project to fall behind schedule, who, instead of getting stuck, reached out for help to get to the root of the problem and put her Corporate Family™ back on track.
  • A CEO whose corporate life was extremely successful, but his family was falling apart, sought assistance for his personal and professional life in order to rebuild his most important and valuable asset.
  • Two business Principals who resolved to keep their business going when their friend and co-owner left them to start a competing company, taking away key team members.

What allowed these leaders to overcome their challenging circumstances and to get through the peaks and valleys of daily business to rise even stronger than before? Each had one similar, defining characteristic: Grit. They had faith in themselves and were intentional about their efforts to keep moving and falling forward, no matter what was happening in the here and now.

How do we learn this type of resolve? How do we teach it to others in our sphere of influence? At LEADon, we believe that people learn this skill set best by embracing the situation, working through each one with an intentional focus, and daring to ask for assistance to accomplish the task at hand. Overcoming these inevitable challenges is a team sport. The truth of the matter is that grit is the glue that binds effective leadership together, and in the end, success and significance are part of the legacy that follows.