What does it take to lead, succeed, produce, hit goals, reach markers, and develop into the leader you can become? Grit. It takes Leadership Grit.
It was the official drop-off day for all incoming freshman football players at my sons new college. It was about a month before all the other students would be arriving. The head football coach had a special parent meeting for all of us new parents. I will never forget his "pre-game" talk he gave us parents. It made me want to suit up and play football again, but more than that it was challenging.
He summarized in one word what it would take for our young men to succeed in college, football and life. Grit. It takes grit. He talked about when the other students arrive, classes start, football is in high gear, and life happens is when most students quit.
I have thought a lot about that in my own life and in my own leadership journey. And the same holds true. It take grit.
Grit is the perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Grit is the internal drive that keeps you and me from quitting and just giving up. Grit is also fragile and easy to damage and lose.
There has been a thought rattling around in my head for a while now,
"Anyone can but not everyone does."
What do you think about that statement? Here's what I think it means. Don't allow the opinion of others to dictate your destiny.
"Not doing it is certainly the best way to not getting it." - Wayne Gretzky
Think about it. How many goals, hopes or dreams have you stopped pursuing because of doubt or fear? Whether they are personal health goals, developmental goals, or career goals. Maybe you've allowed the opinions of those who aren't trying anything to keep you back.
"You’re always going to have critics and naysayers and people that are going to tell you that you won’t, that you can’t, that you shouldn’t. Most of those people are the people that didn’t, that wouldn’t, that couldn’t." - Tim Tebow
If "it" was easy everyone would be doing it. To lead at the next level and to continue in your development to reach that goal absolutely requires grit.
Here is what it takes to keep moving when everyone else stops:
G: Go for it Attitude
To keep moving forward, even when everyone else is giving up will absolutely require the right attitude. Our attitude will either lead us to the next level, keep us stuck where we are, or bring us down. There is a reason why you have that dream burning in your heart. A "go for it attitude" drives you to take that next step even when you doubt. It causes you to push through the fear and past the words of the doubters. This is the persistence that screams inside you, "Do Not Give Up!".
To have Leadership GRIT will require you to be resourceful. "I don't have _______" is not a reason to give up. Keeping the big picture in mind, but also being aware of the next step is critical. I think the reason most people quit when it gets difficult is not only because they lose sight of the goal, but they also get overwhelmed by the amount of work it requires vs. the limited resources they have. This is why it is so important to keep moving forward. Even if it's only one small step at a time. One of the best resources that most people have access to are people who have been where you are and are already where you want to go. I encourage you to reach out to those people to grow and to learn from.
People and circumstances may take away your "stuff" - money, roles, jobs, etc... but NOBODY can take away your integrity. Integrity is who you are when nobody else is looking or around. As you pursue your goals and dreams, do not do so at the sake of losing yourself and your integrity. There are plenty of "successful" people who have achieved success at a high cost of their own morals and integrity. Using and abusing other people, manipulation, lying, & cheating may be the way some people reach the "top". Don't let it be your way. One good way to keep your integrity is with honor. To honor other people with respect and courtesy goes a long, long way.
Finally, the have Leadership GRIT will require toughness. Both mentally and physically. Toughness in the sense that you will have people to tell you to stop, to give up, that you will never reach your goals. Now, let me say if you are doing something that will hurt you or others you probably should listen to those telling you to stop. But, if you are trying to reach a goal and a dream that you know you have been called to do, have the toughness to keep pushing forward. As I mentioned earlier, if "it" was easy everyone would be doing it. Anything worth pursuing and reaching has to also be worth the cost to get there.
Believe in yourself. Believe that the dream and goal has been birthed in you for a reason. Do not let someone else or some circumstance rob you of that.
I don't know about you but I don't want to be on my death bed wishing I would have done ___________.
I want to live life with no regrets.
It requires GRIT.