Beyond Grit

Lately, my LinkedIn feed has been full of posts about “grit.”  The concept has become a rallying cry—almost a badge of honor worn by those who refuse to give up. 

But what exactly is grit, and how does it intersect with effective leadership? Let’s explore the nuances. 

Grit, at its core, embodies a combination of perseverance and passion—the unwavering commitment to long-term goals. Yet, here lies the paradox: Some mistake grit for blind perseverance, assuming that relentless effort alone will propel them to success. 

In reality, true grit is more than that. It involves a balance between persistence and flexibility.

Listen, I can persevere like the best of them. It’s one of my top overdone strengths. And I have to remember that relentless effort and persistence are not always the right tools for the job. In fact, some of the best business decisions I’ve ever made have involved giving up something that wasn’t working.

Those decisions were sometimes hard, especially when I cared deeply about something or believed in something so much. But ultimately it came down to my emotional (and sometimes physical) well-being. That’s right—overemphasizing grit without considering well-being can lead to burnout. 

Listen, grit has its place. It certainly is a valuable part of a larger leadership puzzle. The most effective leaders combine it with adaptability, skill development, emotional intelligence, and a holistic view of well-being.

Want to read more about grit and its superpowers and pitfalls? This article from Psychology Today hits on some important points to keep in mind. 

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