Exemplary Leaders Possess Grit

Dr. Harry Durbin, Clergy Coaching NetworkAdobeStock_190590443.jpeg

As we have learned from our mentors, adaptive leadership skills set great leaders apart and when practiced with passion allow us to achieve a level of excellence that is needed and desired.

Angela Duckworth, in her groundbreaking book GRIT, makes a case for one of the essential components of such a skill set. Her conclusion is that effort and hard work “count twice.” When we approach our lives with grittiness, we can deliver on achievement. A person may not be a genius or possess the highest level of natural gifts, but if she or he is gritty, works hard and is committed to achievement good things happen.

I am a Memphian, and we have a professional NBA team nicknamed the Grizzlies. For many years, they have made the playoffs and on occasion taken down teams with much more natural talent. Their achievements fit their mantra, “Grit and Grind.” I do not know all that is intended by that phrase, but it certainly meant that their effort and passion could exceed that of other teams and enable them to win when not expected. To give stronger effort, to practice more diligently, and to outhustle your opponent will yield the right stuff.

In the practice of life and ministry, there are so many implications for this principle that we will simply call grit.

We can establish a culture of grit in our homes and workplaces. In the middle of Duckworth’s book, she quotes a section from a JPMorgan Chase manual, titled HOW WE DO BUSINESS.

“Have a fierce resolve in everything you do. Demonstrate determination, resiliency, and tenacity. Do not let temporary setbacks become permanent excuses. And finally, use mistakes and problems as opportunities to get better and not reasons to quit.”

Persevering will take you to good places and create the right results. It is summed up well by Brene Brown when she offers a snapshot of her book RISING STRONG.

“Fall. Get Up. Try again.”

Remember the woman in Scripture who persisted in prayer. She had grit. Remember the coach who required you to shoot a hundred free throws every day after practice. He taught you grit. Where are the spaces and places in your life that a renewed grittiness might make a huge difference?

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