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Finding the Grit Within

It goes by many names - drive, motivation, tenacity; but at the end of the day one of the best characteristics someone can have in business and especially in sales is GRIT. As a leader I desperately look for it when I hire. However, I cannot always accurately detect it because every single person will say they have it. It usually isn't until they get their feet in the door that I see what they are really made of.

Grit can be the main factor to success. Angela Lee Duckworth does an amazing TED talk on grit that you can see here:

A few years ago I adopted twin boys, they came from a very difficult background and had been the children of a drug abusing parent. The boys struggled in school and both had learning disabilities. One of the boys has a powerful drive to him, anything he sets his mind on he accomplishes. The other one doesn't really have the same grit, but he has more talent and was actually doing better in school. After about a year with us my gritty son started to excel, he joined wrestling and won, got his drivers license, even though nobody would have believed he could have read the test and passed; he is now graduating early and plans to go on to college. My less gritty son on the other hand is falling behind, and often feels like the world is against him.

You could be that person.

Do you think you have GRIT but you are just mediocre in the job you do? You cannot figure out why you can't get to the top and maybe you have been dealt an unfair hand? If you have ever thought any of those are not a gritty person. Harsh? Maybe, but true. Excuses do not exist for people who exude grit. Mediocre has never been associated with people who truly have grit. "Unfair hand" does not exist for the gritty individual. The first step is admitting it, or acknowledging it.

The bad news is that grit really cannot be created where there is none. However, you can train yourself to find and use the grit within you... if it exists. How do you know if you have it? Right now you are saying - YES teach me. If you shook your head, made any excuse what-so-ever or denied that it is YOU that is the problem. You are a lost cause. Stop reading and move on.

For the rest of you it can be as easy as writing down what you want to accomplish and using it as a check list. I am sure you are aware of the Harvard study on goal setting and writing down goals. Here is the synopsis if not:

What they found was that just by writing down your goals you are exponentially more likely to succeed. Gritty people do this in their mind as well as on paper. Start here, write down what you want to accomplish and make those goals very specific and quantifiable. Then check them off daily and religiously. Jerry Seinfield once told Brad Issac in an interview that the way he holds himself to writing every single day is simply by putting it on a calendar and marking it off with a big red check daily.

The next step is to push yourself. What do you want to accomplish, but tell yourself you can't for one reason or another? Is it being #1 on your team? Getting the next promotion? Moving to a dream location? It could be anything. The only difference between you and the person who does accomplish these things is they believe they can. Period. THEY BELIEVE THEY CAN.

It is time for you to start rejecting the excuses and lies you tell yourself. If you have to physically shut your own mouth with your hand, do it. I tell my salespeople this all the time. "You are giving me excuses, put your hand on your mouth." It works. Write down what you want. Now write down the steps to get there. Now check them off everyday.

Finally, do a mental check at the end of each day. Did your actions and attitude get your closer to your goal today? If not, what do YOU do differently tomorrow? If you find yourself blaming anything or anyone or making excuses IN ANY FORM...put yourself in check and get back on track.

Finding and using the grit within you is not easy. It is going to take hard work every single day, but everyday that you push and hold yourself accountable you will become grittier, stronger and more successful.

Now go forth and be GRITTY and never settle for mediocrity again.

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