Angela Duckworth’s book Grit: the power of passion and perseverance was one of the best selling business titles of the last twelve months.
But what exactly is grit?
The author herself defines it as “perseverance and passion for long-term goals. In simple terms, it’s the ability to stick at something until you succeed.”
Grit and resilience are crucial for organisations who want high-performing teams.
So here, we give three tips to help businesses cultivate employees who always bring their A-game.
Take care of the basics
Writing in the Harvard Business Review, Tony Schwartz describes the concept of ‘corporate athletes’. These employees are obsessive about their rest, nutrition, and staying within the bounds of their strengths and vision. And as a result, they are more resilient and productive.
It sounds logical. But too often, employees work in a fast-paced environment that doesn’t leave much time for this self-care; skipping breakfast or lunch in favour of a meeting are common occurrences.
The basics need to be in place for employees to thrive and weather tough times. So manage workplace energy – physical, mental and emotional – in a way that maximises human potential.
Promote values-based leadership
Our business culture is often focused on external motivation, on reward and punishment systems, when it’s actually intrinsic motivation that drives us as humans, according to career analyst Daniel Pink.
We know what makes us tick and what makes us happy. Savvy leaders should allow space for employees to map their innate strengths and talents to wider organisational demands, not always the other way around.
That way, when challenges do arise, the will – and confidence – to overcome them is already embedded in your workforce.
Grit is about being mentally tough. But, ironically, this mind state only comes about when we make the workplace an emotionally safe place to be human. Modern work culture isn’t typically a space known for promoting vulnerability. People may feel stigmatised if they ask for help. Good leaders make limits and boundaries a positive thing – not something shameful.
For more on grit and resilience, download our whitepaper, Grit: the will to overcome.