What is Grit and Why Does It Matter?

You’ve probably heard the advice “when the going gets tough, the tough get going,” attributed to the legendary coach Kunte Rockne. That quote captures the essence of grit.  More recently, Angela Duckworth inspired a whole new focus on grit, the result of her renowned research and pursuit of understanding why some people are more successful than others, even when they have equal or similar talents.

But first things first: what does grit even mean?

According to Duckworth, the character trait of grit refers to passion, the consistency of interest, and perseverance, the ability to endure tough times.

For instance, we’ve all experienced setbacks. They could range from struggling to learn a new skill, recovering from an injury, losing a job, or even bankruptcy.

 

More Definitions and Quotes about Grit by Angela Duckworth

“Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

“Without effort, your talent is nothing more than your unmet potential.”

“Grit is not just about stubborn persistence. It’s also about choosing the right goals.”

“Grit is about working on something you care about so much that you’re willing to stay loyal to it.”

“Grit is about maintaining a growth mindset and believing that your abilities can be developed.”

 

What Does Grit Look Like?

“Grit is about doing the hard work, day in and day out, without immediate reward.”
Angela Duckworth

People with high levels of Grit are confident in achieving long-term goals. They are often described as ‘determined’ and ‘hard workers’. No-pain-no-gain might be the grit motto. Gritty people tend to keep going until the work is done. They take pride in finishing what they start. Their mental focus and emotional stamina are very high. They don’t let short-term gains, negative feedback, or hectic schedules deter them. People with high grit are not discouraged easily; they see setbacks and obstacles as challenges that can be overcome with commitment and hard work. Grit, however, is not always a good thing. Gritty people are often so focused on their goals that they get blinded-sided by outside influences and have blind spots when it comes to alternative ideas.

People with low levels of grit give up quickly. Setbacks and obstacles easily discourage them. When change happens they can find it difficult to stay on course with long-term goals. They flee at the first sign of trouble and often blame others. They start a lot of projects but get discouraged easily.

 

 

How Can Grit Be Measured?

Grit can be reliably measured with a short grit assessment that measures these 5 traits:

  • Achievement Drive
  • Can-Do Attitude
  • Goal Focus
  • Self-Confidence
  • Work Ethic

CLICK HERE to learn more!

 

How Grit Can Help in Your Business

Why is grit something you need to look for when hiring and developing employees? The future of work is full of opportunity but the journey will be anything but certain. Perseverance and passion will be needed in abundance. Working smarter, not harder is a must. These are some scenarios where employees with grit become a beneficial trait for your company.

They Understand That Good Things Take Time

Younger employees – Millennials – have often been criticized for their need for instant gratification. Then again, texts of the ancient Greeks from 600 to 300 BC reveal the art of “youth bashing” by parents. But I digress.

While it might be true for some of them, grit had to be part of this generation’s makeup. Now in their 30s and 40s, they have endured school shootings, 9/11 terrorism, the Great Recession, and a pandemic…and they are now growing and thriving. It’s only human to get frustrated when we don’t see the instant rewards from our work. Contributing to a project day in and day out, and not getting recognition or confronting bureaucratic idiocy, is disheartening. Many employees may be tempted to just quit.

If your employee has grit, however, they know good things take time. Setbacks are not failures, but part of the journey. When personal interests align with goals, it’s easier to persevere and feel that your efforts will be rewarded. People with grit stay and push through.

They Are Open to Learning New Skills

Learning new skills – especially tough ones, such as programming or designing – takes a lot of time and effort. Not every employee you have will be motivated to get better or acquire new skills in order to do their job better, but workers with grit will.

While the time investment scares many, people who have grit understand that the journey is worth it if they can get to a point where they are more proficient in a range of activities. This is beneficial for your business because you know they’re open to updating their knowledge and abilities as time goes past. Rest assured they will never drag your company down by refusing to keep up with the times!

They Tend to be More Loyal

In the business world, people come and go. When your company is flourishing, you have plenty of applicants wanting to get hired. When your company is struggling, however, you notice that the amount of help available to you is scarce.

This is where having employees with grit is key to the survival of your business during hard times. When you are going through financial or reputational difficulties, a lot of workers may decide it’s easier to leave than to attempt to fix the problems with you.

Workers with grit, however, are more willing to remain where they are if they see that your company is a place where they can grow and become better. Due to this, they are unlikely to leave just because things are getting hard. Instead, you can rely on them more to provide ideas and weather the storm.

They Are Not Discouraged by Failure

What happens if a worker commits a mistake or fails in delivering according to your goals? Some of them may become defensive, or may choose to settle for an easier role. Not for employees with grit!

These employees are not afraid of failure, knowing that it’s just a stepping stone to greater success in the future. With this knowledge, they are more likely to keep trying to do better. This improves their performance and the quality of your company’s results over time.

 

How to Identify Grit When Hiring Employees

When conducting pre-employment tests or going through the hiring process, it’s important to identify which employees have grit and which ones don’t. Apart from examining their tests, you can also ask targeted interview questions to see how they respond to difficult situations.

For instance, you can ask an employee about their biggest professional failure, or a certain challenging situation, and how they grew from it. This would show you whether they are honest about what happened and whether they accept responsibility for failures instead of deflecting.

Understanding how they then responded to the challenge will be key in knowing how they would tackle problems when they arise in your company.

At the same time, take note of how passionate they are about the job. The more enthusiastic people are to work in your company, the more they are likely to brave the harder times.

 

How Grit Helps You When Owning a Business

Overall, grit is a quality that enables employees to persevere and keep producing good work, even in challenging situations. This is beneficial for your company because you will encourage patience in your employees. Gritty people are often willing to learn more in order to improve.

Furthermore, employees with grit are also more loyal and won’t get discouraged by failures or mistakes. When you are hiring employees, make sure to keep a lookout for this quality! You can do this by asking about previous challenges and listen carefully to how they respond. What steps did they take to endure and overcome the obstacle? How did they maintain focus and optimism?

Do your employees and teams have the grit to grow and thrive in our world of increasing uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity? Contact AQPlus,  your adaptability experts.

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First things first: what does grit even mean? You’ve probably heard the advice “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” attributed to coach Kunte Rockne. That quote captures the essence of grit.  The character trait of grit often refers to passion, the consistency of interest, and perseverance, the ability to endure tough times.

For instance, we’ve all experienced setbacks. They could range from struggling to learn a new skill, recovering from an injury, losing a job, or even bankruptcy.

What Does Grit Look Like?

People with high levels of Grit are confident in achieving long-term goals. They are often described as ‘determined’ and ‘hard workers’. No-pain-no-gain might be the grit motto. Gritty people tend to keep going until the work is done. They take pride in finishing what they start. Their mental focus and emotional stamina are very high. They don’t let short-term gains, negative feedback, or hectic schedules deter them. People with high grit are not discouraged easily; they see setbacks and obstacles as challenges that can be overcome with commitment and hard work. Grit, however, is not always a good thing. Gritty people are often so focused on their goals that they get blinded-sided by outside influences and have blind spots when it comes to alternative ideas. 

People with low levels of grit give up quickly. Setbacks and obstacles easily discourage them. When change happens they can find it difficult to stay on course with long-term goals. They flee at the first sign of trouble and often blame others. They start a lot of projects but get discouraged easily. 

How Grit Can Help Your Business

Why is grit something you need to look for when hiring and developing employees? The future of work is full of opportunity but the journey will be anything but certain. Perseverance and passion will be needed in abundance. These are some scenarios where employees with grit become a beneficial trait for your company.

They Understand That Good Things Take Time

Millennials have often been criticized for their need for instant gratification. While it might be true for some of them, grit had to be part of this generation’s makeup. Now in their 30s and 40s, they have endured school shootings, 9/11 terrorism, and the Great Recession…and they are now growing and thriving. It’s only human to get frustrated when we don’t see the instant rewards from our work. Contributing to a project day in and day out, and not getting recognition or confronting bureaucratic idiocy, is disheartening. Many employees may be tempted to just quit.

If your employee has grit, however, they know good things take time. Setbacks are not failures, but part of the journey.  When personal interests align with goals, it’s easier to persevere and feel that your efforts will be rewarded. People with grit stay and push through.