In the pursuit of success, we often find ourselves facing numerous challenges and setbacks. While various factors contribute to achieving our goals, one characteristic stands out as a significant predictor of success: GRIT. Well, what is GRIT? Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth, a University of Oxford graduate and a famous research scientist, discovered that GRIT, defined as passion and perseverance for long-term goals, is crucial in determining who thrives in challenging environments. But how can we cultivate grit in the business world? One powerful tool is adopting a growth mindset.
The Power of Grit:
Duckworth started studying kids and adults in all kinds of super challenging settings, and in every study, her question was, “Who is successful here and why?” Duckworth and her research team went to West Point Military Academy. They tried to predict which cadets would stay in the military training and which would drop out. They went to the National Spelling Bee and tried to predict which children would advance farthest in the competition. They partnered with private companies, asking, “Which of these salespeople is going to keep their jobs?” And who’s going to earn the most money?”
One characteristic emerged as a significant predictor of success in all those different contexts. And it wasn’t social intelligence. It wasn’t good looks physical health, and it wasn’t IQ. It was GRIT. Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. Grit is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working hard to make that future a reality.
I, for one, can contest the fact that what kept me going through the many trials and tribulations as a business owner was my firm belief in God, and true GRIT was the glue that held my passion and perseverance in check helping me achieve my short and long-term goals. In my book, The Playbook for a Healthy Business, I discuss in Chapter 1: Breaking Barriers: The Extraordinary Journey of a 30-Year Overnight Success. I know that by fostering a culture of grit and growth, success is not just possible, but it is inevitable.
The Growth Mindset:
Duckworth suggests embracing the concept of a growth mindset to build grit in business, pioneered by Carol Dweck at Stanford University. A growth mindset believes that our ability to learn and grow is not fixed but can be developed through effort and dedication. When individuals understand that failure is not a permanent condition but rather an opportunity for growth, they are more likely to persevere in adversity.
Teaching Grit through a Growth Mindset:
Duckworth found that introducing the idea of a growth mindset to students significantly increased their resilience and perseverance. The same principle can be applied to businesses. Encouraging employees to understand that their skills and abilities can be developed over time empowers them to embrace challenges and view setbacks as stepping-stones to success.
Testing and Measuring Success:
Testing and measuring the effectiveness of different strategies to cultivate grit within an organization is crucial. Leaders should be willing to experiment, learn from failures, and adapt their approaches accordingly. By creating a culture that values resilience and continuous growth, businesses can foster an environment where employees are encouraged to push through obstacles and pursue their long-term goals.
In the unpredictable business world, grit is a precious trait that can lead to long-term success. Business Health Matters believes by adopting a growth mindset and instilling this perspective within teams, organizations can cultivate the perseverance and passion required to overcome challenges. Embracing failure as a learning opportunity and continually testing and refining strategies will help businesses build the resilience necessary to thrive in today’s competitive landscape. So, let us foster a culture of grit and growth where success is possible and inevitable.