Having the determination, persistence and perseverance to stick to doing the work that matters, to fight for what we believe in and to stick it out for the long haul can be gratifying and grueling.
Staying the course when you:
Do you know that you don’t have to do it alone right?
Having someone alongside you to help you get through this, is precisely what you need.
But I'm supposed to be independent
We were taught independence from the time we were little. You can do it. We learned asking for help was a sign of weakness. Oh, you can’t do it? There is a sense of failure if we have to ask for help.
While there is truth in that some things need doing alone, there is also great wisdom in knowing when to ask for help.
Signs it’s time to ask for help:
Places to ask for help
1) A loyal friend or family member
Talk to someone close to you about your desire to grow, be stronger and more on purpose to what truly matters to you. Find someone who will come along side you as you get fired up to make some changes. When you find that person, it is like having your own cheerleader in your corner.
I remember years ago, I was going through some challenges with staff at work. I was feeling discouraged about relationships, yet determined to work through it because I was committed to the work we were doing. My husband came home one day, sat me down on the coach and said, listen to this. The sounds of Enrique Iglesias filled our family room. As the tears slid down my face, I knew that my husband believed in me. He was there for me. He was my shoulder to cry on, but would also stand me back up, turn me around and send me back off to the office. He knew I was meant to do that work.
The support and motivation that I get from Ernie are what has gotten and continues to get me a long way in my career.
2) Make developing Grit part of your performance plan at work
Talk to your boss, your manager or your HR person about what skills and traits you desire to grow. Ask for opportunities, training and support to develop this determination and commitment in yourself. You may choose to share only a part of it or much of it, depending on your trust level in your relationships with these individuals. But the truth is in most organizations your supervisor wants to see you develop and grow your skills. They will be willing to help in whatever way they can, you simply need to show initiative and ask.
When I began to work on my degree, I was the first one in the organization that committed fully to doing it. Following me, many others have since taken the same program I did and graduated from it. I applaud them for it. It wasn’t an easy track working full-time. When I decided this was what I wanted to do, I asked my boss to commit, not to the whole degree, but to one course at a time. Honestly, that was all I could commit to as well. But one by one, year after year, I kept plugging away at it (do you sense my grit here) because I knew it was necessary for my growth and my ability to make the desired impact I wanted on my teams and in my field. My organizations supported that and each year, it was part of my performance plan.
3) Look for outside support and training.
Depending on how you’ve narrowed down what you need to work on, there are a vast array of things you can do to get outside support to grow you. Some of that, your organization may help with, others you may simply do on your own. Consider the following as some options:
It's time to develop your GRIT
Developing your grittiness is critical in really doing meaningful work, finding balance and enjoying what you do more. I won’t lie though; it takes a lot of effort. You must be determined. You need to connect passionately with what is important to you. You must also be willing to work at it for a long time.
Grow your Grit
Spend time connecting to what’s important to you and find the motivation to stick with it, despite the setbacks and challenges you face. Get serious about it by developing a plan to help you and reach out for assistance to do that. It will be worth it, trust me!
I’m late in sharing goals setting I know. It’s already close to the end of January. Most of you have got your goals set for the year. Or do you?
In a poll today on my Goal Setting Webinar, 100% of the attendees did not have any goals set for this year.
Wait a minute!
Are you just floating along, aimlessly a victim of whatever happens in your life?
Are you intentionally creating life, days, your career and your family life as you chose?
Newsflash: You can create your life experience
How did you ask?
By being intentional. You create life experiences by reflecting, deciding, setting goals and planning, all before you take action.
Here is your homework:
1. Set aside time
Yes, this takes some time. 30-minutes is a good place to start if your time deficient.
2. Vision what you want in your future
If you had the “perfect” life, career and relationship:
3. Write down those things
Journal of that future vision for a few minutes.
4. Develop a goal
Consider what you would need to do this year to move you closer to that vision. Develop your goal as specific as you can.
5. Expand the goal into a plan
If you want to achieve that goal, what do you need to do to get there. This expansion may include action, practices, and training.
6. Create a habit
Consider what you will need to do for the rest of your life to maintain that goal. What actions will you have to take daily to ensure you stay on track? How will you instill those into your daily routine?
Taking 30 minutes out of your day, to intentionally create your future could have a crazy positive impact on how 2016 unfolds for you. Deliberately cultivating your life experience can help you find you achieve more of what you want. You'll be clear, and you will consciously know what you need to do to get there.
Grittier people achieve more. That’s a fact.
Leaders who aren’t gritty; simply don’t make it.
Leadership isn’t an easy journey
There are many hurdles along the way. Leaders that survive these challenges learn from their experiences and incorporate the lessons moving forward. They stick it out. They get back up again and again after they fall. They succeed, not because they were lucky, blessed, or had people on their side. It’s because they had grit.
4 ways to increase your leadership grit:
1) Increase Your Courage
One key trait of truly successful leaders is they have an air of confidence. They are self-assured. That did not come from hanging out in their comfort zone. Leaders get that level of confidence by being brave. They become more confident by courageously doing things that were uncomfortable, awkward and yes, even scary.
Confidence and courage go hand in hand.
The more you be courageous, the more confidence you’ll have. The more confidence you have, the more courage you will have to do new things that grow you and your team.
2) Strengthen your willpower
The question isn’t Can you? It is Will you?
The ability to say, “I will do this” and mean it AND then go and do it is the ultimate weapon in your arsenal. Wishing, planning and even stating are all good, but without action. You won’t get anywhere.
Willpower is best defined by Kelly McGonigal
It is your ability to make choices that are consistent with you biggest goals and your highest values, even when some part of you doesn’t want to. It is the ability to remember what matters most even when there are distractions AND the willingness to support these goals even when self-doubt is present when you have cravings when you were experiencing physical pain or anxiety.
Crazy stuff eh?
Two things you need to know about strengthening your willpower.
3) Fight Resistance
Resistance shows up in your day as
These are the gremlins that interfere with our ability to get things done, especially the meaningful things that you want to do.
To fight resistance:
you first need to increase your awareness to what is happening for you. Then, develop habits that help you move through it, using your willpower, to get done what is important to get done.
This is what it looks like in action:
When you take the time to review your daily to-do items and start to notice that “talking to John” has shown up for a week straight, you can ask yourself some questions about that that.
The gritty plan:
Then, lean into the discomfort (aka – grab some courage) deal with it first thing in your day when your willpower is strong and have the conversation. Yes, you might mess it up. It may not go quite the way you planned. But a gritty person, notices failures. They see what they can learn from them. Then, a gritty person applies that lesson next time around, with more confidence.
4) Ignite your passion
Passion is the burning desire in you. It’s connected to purpose. It is why we do the work we do. It’s why we get so frustrated that we never get the stuff done that we really wanted to get done. It fires us up.
Pay attention to your body
You can figure out what you are passionate about by noticing your body. When do you get excited, angry or eager? What makes you speak up or speak out? When do you lean into conversations? What kinds of things spur you to action? All of those are indicators of your passion.
Do more of what lights you up.
When you are deeply passionate about your work, you’ll find it easier to get through challenges and tough times.
Enhancing your grit makes you more successful
Grittier leaders take organizations further and do more meaningful work. Employees are engaged and excited about the work they do. Enhance your grit, by growing your courage, strengthening your willpower, fighting resistance and igniting your passion. These 4 strategies will find you enjoying your job more and feeling more fulfilled (as opposed to ragged) at the end of your day.
Check this out, to see what others share about their profound experience with the
Women with Grit: Leading with Courage & Confidence program.
You can learn many lessons from the pages of Little House on the Prairie. The main one is to be gritty. In other words:
• dig deep,
• for what you care about
• and do it again and again, and again.
Ma fought battles to raise her girls and keep her family safe. While Pa was out and about, Ma would feed the livestock in frigid temperatures. She packed away food for lean times. She also worked to keep a positive mindset in the face of daunting circumstances.
Ma saw setback and failures as opportunities to learn lessons, develop strength and to deepen one’s faith. Ma Ingalls demonstrated grit daily.
Grit in Leadership
It took me 8 years to complete my degree. I was working full-time and raising 4 kids. After supper, my husband would do the dishes and get the kids ready for bed while I buried myself in textbooks and fought to master APA format. Each time I finished a course it felt like a giant step forward, and yet, I knew it wasn’t the end. I’d have to dig out the outline and look at what course was next.
If I completed the coursework, there was the lure of a raise. To me, it was more than that. Attaining my degree was about growing my skills as a leader. It was about getting that piece of paper that would say “You stuck it out, Kathy! You finished it, despite the odds.” That motivation kept me going. I was determined.
Grit kept me going
What I was exercising was GRIT. I persevered. I persisted. I did this for a long time because it was important for me. It meant a lot to me to have my degree.
Grit is perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Research shows that GRIT is a core indicator of success.
Look at those who have made it
Dig into the back-story of some of the most successful people out there and you’ll see that they were not overnight successes. Most of the individuals that have "made it big", like Oprah, Steve Jobs, Reba McIntyre, Jack Canfield, Tony Robbins, Louise Hay, had a long history of failures. They spent many years being determined to figure it out. It required them to fail, fall and get back up, again, and again. It required GRIT.
Think about your challenges
As a leader, you already know, that it is not easy! Each project, program, client, and employee requires a measure of effort that extends over time. You have to dig deep to get through some of the chaos, challenges and stress. And, you must do this over and over. You are much more willing to do this when you care a lot.
What do you care about?
This question about what matters to you is critical to getting gritty. The definition of grit includes two “Ps”: persistence & passion. To be gritty, you must care about your tasks and the eventual outcomes of your work. It must be significant to you. It has to matter. Grit requires a measure of passion about what you are doing.
Grit was instrumental in my success
I worked hard to get my degree because it mattered a lot to me and. Therefore, I was willing to work on it for a lengthy period. Grit, perseverance, and passion for long-term goals got me through the course work.
Why is this important in leadership?
To be an exemplary leader, you know it takes hard work. You know you are much more willing to work hard if you care about the work you are doing. Finally, you know you’ll ensure that hard work over the long haul. That’s GRIT.
The 3 reasons you should lead like Ma Ingalls
They are the three components of Grit.
1) Ma was determined to be successful. So you should you be persistent and strong-willed.
Determination gives you capacity to:
a. face challenges
b. Dig deep during tough times
c. Get you through big projects
d. Handle tough conversations
e. Stick with things that matter
2) Ma cared deeply about her family. She devoted herself to their well-being. So you should fire up the passion in your work.
Connecting to your passion means:
3) Ma stayed the course despite adversity. She endured for the long haul. So you too should be practicing endurance.
Enduring helps you to remember:
Let Ma be your mentor
By following Ma Ingalls example, you will be a respected and sought after leader. Not only will your leadership flourish, but you will find yourself much happier.
Become a gritty leader:
Join the membership
Listen to the podcasts
Read the book
Available on Amazon
Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.