Grit is defined as firmness of mind or spirit – an unyielding courage in the face of hardship. The career world is changing so fast that grit has become a sought after competency for hiring and a necessity for entrepreneurs and innovators.

The emerging research indicates that grit can determine success or achievement far better than just grades, credentials, or professional pedigree.

Grit to Great

One of the best things about grit is that you need not be born with it. Grit can be developed.

Outstanding accomplishment comes from relentless commitment, courage and stamina to overcome obstacles, which blows mediocrity out of the water.

Bend like Bamboo

Bamboo is one of the strongest plants because it has a hollow stem that allows for bend and flexibility in wind and weather. It has a higher specific compressive strength than wood, brick, or concrete and a tensile strength that rivals steel. Bamboo is gritty and you can be too. Here are some grit builders as suggested by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval, authors of, “Grit to Great.”

  • Become an over-preparer – practice, prepare and think of all the angles so you are ready for the unexpected.
  • Get the gig – leverage your strengths and muster your confidence to push yourself into exploring uncomfortable opportunities.
  • Go the extra thirty minutes – identify your most productive time of day and put in an extra 30 minutes during your unique and effective sweet spot time.
  • Stop dreaming and start doing!
  • Get rejected – a lot! You will grow from taking these chances and learn from getting knocked down and surviving. Rejection can be an impetus to working harder than you ever thought possible.

Hone your grit with the guts to take on new challenges. Be resilient and recover from failure by salvaging the teachable moments. Take initiative and action to move forward with your goal. Have the tenacity to be relentless about staying focused.

Whether you are an emerging leader, entrepreneur, or a seasoned professional – you will be faced with daunting tasks throughout your career. How you navigate those challenges and activate your grit is entirely up to you.