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Developing Leadership Qualities - Grit

Developing Leadership Qualities: Grit

Developing Leadership Qualities - GritIs Grit a Vital Leadership Quality?

Several months ago I read Grit: The Power and Passion of Perseverance by Angela Lee Duckworth, Ph.D. and a MacArthur Fellow. She’d previously given a Ted Talk on the subject. Her theory is that grit is a predictor of academic and professional success. And to me, grit is a vital leadership quality.

What is grit?

According to Merriam-Webster, grit is firmness of mind or spiritunyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger. Sounds like many small business owners I know, who have the resolve to press ahead despite setbacks and challenges.

A Time article several years ago listed four ways to know if you have grit:

  1. You have something you find enduringly fascinating.
  2. You view frustrations as a necessary part of the process.
  3. You look for ways to make your work more meaningful.
  4. You believe you can change and grow.

Developing grit

There are some people who naturally display the quality of grit. In school, they stuck with learning a sport even though they didn’t start out to be a star player. In college, they may not have had the highest IQ but continually performed well by putting in a lot of hard work. And in running a business, well…you know.

But even if grit doesn’t come naturally, there are some pointers to help you build it so you can more effectively lead your staff and run your business. A +Acumen Master Class on Building Grit, an on demand course running 3 hours, has 6 sections:

  • An introduction to grit.
  • The 1st building block of grit: uncovering your interests.
  • The 2nd building block of grit: deliberate practice.
  • The 3rd building block of grit: purpose.
  • The 4th building block of grit: hope.
  • Lessons on grit for social entrepreneurs.

Final thought

As Walt Disney said: “The difference in winning and losing is most often not quitting.”

Having grit will get you through the challenges and setbacks of running a business and being an effective leader. Last month’s blog in this series concerned empathy. Next month’s blog on developing leadership qualities addresses openmindedness.