Grit. This word has recently jumped into our business vernacular, sparked in large part by the revealing book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, by Angela Duckworth.
When millennials are falsely described through stereotypes like “snowflakes” or “trophy chasers” or as being constantly hovered over by “helicopter parents,” what detractors are really saying is that millennials don’t have adequate “grit.”
Here are a few articles that I found about grit—how to find it within and how you can showcase it in the workplace.
Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone
“Tim Ferriss, author of the wildly successful The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich, keeps a placard reminder on his work desk that reads, “Do one thing that scares you every day.” Those few words represent the importance of challenging yourself of a daily basis. Progress comes with change, and if you never try anything new, you’re going to one day find yourself in a professional rut, not to mention a pretty boring life. Of course, facing your biggest fears is never easy. What works for me is writing down the things that scare me, and then breaking them up into small, manageable steps.” Read more at The Muse.
Don’t Take No For An Answer
“When an obstacle presents itself, there are two ways of looking at it. The first is to say, ‘That’s a wall. I can’t break down that wall. I probably won’t be able to break down any wall. I guess I’ll just never be successful.’ The second is to say, ‘Hmmm, that’s an interesting wall. I wonder what I can do to get through it.’ Every single superstar Millennial that I know, approaches every obstacle with that second mentality. To them, there is no such thing as ‘I can’t.’ They don’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Failure is not an option, and sitting there sulking about it is a poor waste of time. Instead, they start asking themselves questions in an effort to reach a solution. They assess the obstacle. They reach out to people who have encountered that same obstacle before. They study it. They try and fail, try and fail. They bash their heads against it over and over again until, finally, they break through.” — Read more at Inc.
Believe It To Do It
“So what should you do if you’re not too hopeful? Two things: have a growth mindset and use optimistic self-talk. [Angela] Duckworth says these two lead to perseverance over adversity. A growth mindset is the attitude that your abilities aren’t fixed. Don’t focus on innate talent. Believe you can get smarter and better at anything if you work hard. And optimistic self-talk is as simple as telling yourself ‘I can do it’ when things get difficult. In fact, the U.S. military has taught this to recruits in order to increase their grit.” — Read more at The Week.
Grit Often Trumps IQ
“It’s OK if you aren’t the smartest person in the room or the smartest person in the job. It means the effort you expend toward your goals (perseverance) and your dedication throughout your career journey (passion) are what matter more than how you scored on your SAT or an IQ test.
Why? Because grit will always trump talent. Or as Duckworth notes, ‘Our potential is one thing. What we do with it is quite another.’” — Read more at Forbes.
Grit is About Working Smarter — Not Just Harder
“‘Some people mistake grit for sheer persistence — charging up the same hill, again and again. But that’s not quite what I mean by the word grit,’ [Reid] Hoffman [LinkedIn co-founder] says.’You want to minimize friction and find the most effective, most efficient way forward. You might actually have more grit if you treat your energy as a precious commodity. So forget the tired cliche of running a marathon. You want to be more like Indiana Jones, somersaulting under blades, racing a few steps ahead of a rolling boulder and swinging your whip until you reach your holy grail,’ says Hoffman.” — Read more at CNBC.com.
How do you see grit as an essential component to success in the workplace? Share on Twitter or in the comments below.
Lindsey Pollak is the leading expert on millennials and the multigenerational workplace, trusted by global companies, universities and the world’s top media outlets. A New York Times bestselling author and keynote speaker, Lindsey began her career as a dorm RA in college and has been mentoring millennials — and explaining them to other generations — ever since. Her presentations have audiences so engaged that, in the words of one attendee, “I didn’t check my phone once!” Contact Lindsey to discuss a speaking engagement for your organization.