How Gritty and Confident Are You?

Anthony Foxx is the US Secretary of Transportation.  Recently I read an interview with him in the New York Times.  He had some interesting things to say about career success…

“When I hire, I’m trying to understand is whether the person, if things get really tough, is going to stay in there or fall apart.  I’d rather hire somebody who’s maybe not a genius, but who will dig in on any assignment.  I’d rather have resilience than any other quality.  Competence is obviously critical.  But a lot of people who are really smart end up walking away from some pretty tough assignments because they’re worried about whether or not they can do them.”

Secretary Foxx is getting at two things here – grit and confidence.

Tweet 32 in Success Tweets goes to the heart of grit.  “Stuff will happen in your life and career.  Choose to respond positively to the negative stuff.”  How you respond to things – difficult assignments, failures, setbacks – is up to you.  Resilient people, people with grit, suck it up and say I’m going to get through this.  I’m going to put in the time and effort I need to.  Then I’m going to learn from this experience.

Tweet 47 in Success Tweets is about confidence.   “Act.  Feel the fear and do it anyway. That’s the definition of courage and a great way to build your self-confidence.”  Don’t be one of those people who walk away from tough assignments because you fear failing at them.  Throw yourself into tough assignments.  Do the very best you can.  In many cases, you’ll find that your best was good enough.  In those rare cases when your best is not good enough, you’ll find that failing isn’t the end of the world.  It’s actually a learning experience.  But you have to have the self-confidence to try in the first place and the grit to work through tough assignments.

Your career mentor,


PS: I write this blog to help people create the life and career success they want and deserve. Now I’m going one step further. I’ve created a membership site in which I’ve pulled together my best thoughts on success. And, as a reader of this blog, you can become a member for free. Just go to to claim your free membership. You’ll be joining a vibrant and growing community of success minded professionals. I hope to see you there.

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