How Gritty Are You?

Grit has become a popular word these days. Being a Steelers and Broncos fan, as much as I hate to admit it, the Patriots displayed some real grit in winning the Super Bowl on Sunday.  Grit will help you succeed. But exactly what the hell does grit mean? JT O’Donnell, one of my friends and a great career coach breaks it down this way…

G – Guts
R – Resilience
I – Integrity
T – Tenacity

I like JT’s ideas. Let’s look at them in a little more detail.

Guts, courage — or whatever you want to call it – is an essential ingredient for success. Sometimes you just have to stand up or what you believe. At times this can be uncomfortable. Like the old Jim Croce song says, “You don’t tug on Superman’s cape. You don’t spit into the wind.” But sometimes Superman needs a little tug if he’s going in the wrong direction. It takes guts to do so.

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from defeats and setbacks. We all fail at one time or another. My post popular blog post is one entitled “50 Famous People Who Failed at Their First Attempt at Career Success.” All of these people were resilient. They fought back from failures and setbacks and went on to huge success. Over the weekend, I saw the movie “The Founder.” It’s the story of Ray Kroc, a man who failed at several businesses before making McDonald’s into what it is today. The film depicts him in a somewhat unfavorable light. But that being said, he was a model of resilience.

Integrity wasn’t Ray Kroc’s strong suit. If you see the movie you’ll know what I mean. However, I have found that most successful, gritty people are highly ethical. I teach at the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver. Bill Daniels, a cable TV pioneer had his share of grit. He also was a man of integrity. He held himself and others to high ethical standards. We bring ethics into every one of our courses at Daniels.

Tenacity is another word for determination. Tenacious people are resolute in their desire to succeed. The cling to their dreams. More important, they do the work necessary to make those dreams come true.

So there you have it; a working definition of grit – something absolutely necessary for your life and career success. Grit – Guts, Resilience, Integrity, Tenacity.

Your career mentor,

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