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Leading With Grit and Resilience

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Alex Rivera

Chief Editor at EduNow.me

Leading With Grit and Resilience

Angela Duckworth believes grit is an acquired trait. Unlike traits like intelligence and personality, which are innate, this one can be altered over time.

Grit is an amalgamation of passion and perseverance; to cultivate it, first identify what captures your attention.

1. Resilience

Resilience refers to an ability for someone to adapt to and overcome difficult life experiences with dignity, from mental health challenges or the death of loved ones, to environmental disaster, economic instability or global pandemic. Resilience’s roots can be found in childhood protective factors – those aspects of development which serve to safeguard children against traumas or disorders through aspects such as healthy attachment, nurturing parenting and emotional intelligence.

Resilience also rests on being able to regulate emotions. People who exhibit resilience often have a strong sense of control and believe they can bring about positive changes in their lives, knowing there will be setbacks but remaining confident they have enough resources available to them to overcome them.

Resilient people tend to draw strength from social support systems when facing difficulties. They may seek professional assistance for mental health conditions like anxiety or depression, using resilience as a resource to find meaning during difficult times. Furthermore, resilient individuals take steps to ensure both their physical and emotional wellbeing; for instance practicing mindfulness meditation, getting adequate sleep, eating balanced diets, engaging in meaningful activities that give them a sense of fulfillment as well as engaging in activities which provide a sense of achievement.

But it is essential not to oversimplify resilience and its determinants. While genetic predisposition exists, environmental factors also play a major role. Too much emphasis should not be put on individual strength and resilience at the expense of governments and institutions in addressing larger structural issues that create vulnerability. Resilience must be seen both as a process and result that occurs across families, schools, organizations, communities and cultures.

2. Passion

Grit has captured public imagination since Angela Duckworth’s 2013 TED talk and subsequent 2016 book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by providing examples from Angela’s life to illustrate its power. Educational policies now encourage teachers to foster students’ grit as part of an initiative aiming at broadening learning beyond cognitive factors.

People with high levels of grit are highly motivated by what they do, driving them to put in extra hours and sacrifices towards its success. Furthermore, these individuals take calculated risks in order to get their tasks accomplished successfully – their combination of passion and grit allows them to meet all their goals no matter the challenges involved.

Duckworth’s research demonstrates the correlation between passion and perseverance and success, so leaders should encourage their teams to pursue what ignites them, while offering them support as they find ways to reach their long-term goals.

Leaders should foster an environment in which it’s safe to fail and learn from setbacks, encouraging their team members to turn losses into fuel for future efforts. Leaders can do this by encouraging growth mindsets, fostering collaboration and creating spaces for self-reflection.

Begin fostering resilience among your team by asking them to share stories of when they showed grit, regardless of its source – whether a colleague in another department, sporting accomplishment, or business venture. Stories are an effective way of making concepts like grit and resilience more tangible; you could even commit to this practice over time in order to make it part of the culture at your organization.

3. Perseverance

Duckworth noticed as a teacher that her most successful students weren’t necessarily her brightest pupils. That insight motivated her to study what accounted for success, particularly where talent and knowledge weren’t sufficient. Through research she eventually came up with her theory of “grit,” which is defined as passion applied towards long-term achievement without regard for rewards or recognition; ultimately this determination determines success across every aspect of life ranging from your career path to health issues.

Duckworth finds it upsetting when schools hold “grit pep rallies” to boost standardized test scores, because she feels the emphasis on perseverance alone undermines passion–an essential aspect of grit. According to her own research, people who achieve great things do so only when pursuing interests they feel passionately about all their lives–for instance blind Italian singer Andrea Bocelli originally studied law, before shifting his efforts toward singing instead; something which allowed him to stay on course even when things became challenging on his journey.

Cultivating grit requires leadership, which means demonstrating resilience and passion within their teams. One effective strategy to do so is by sharing their own struggles against adversity and discussing ways they overcame it; another method would be encouraging autonomy that allows team members to find their own motivation when faced with obstacles.

Leaders must also communicate a clear vision of the organization’s goals, inspiring their team members to believe in its mission and staying positive despite minor or catastrophic obstacles as they work toward meeting these shared goals. Leaders are necessary for fulfilling an organization’s mission successfully.

4. Accountability

As a leader, you can model the principles of resilience through your actions. Simply sharing ideas is not enough – to truly lead, a leader must have the strength and courage to live by them too.

Gritty leaders possess a clear vision for what they hope to achieve and are relentless in their commitment to see it through, no matter the obstacles. Additionally, they take responsibility for any errors they commit and strive to learn from them, believing they have an integral role to play in preventing future issues.

Grit research typically focuses on academic achievement; however, other personal and professional outcomes have also been associated with it. These include life-course accomplishment (Abuhassan & Bates 2015), job retention (Duckworth et al. 2007) and emotional well-being (Fredrickson 2009).

Start creating a gritty culture within your organization by familiarizing your team with its concept. Show them Duckworth’s famous TEDtalk or suggest one of her many books; alternatively, use her Grit Quiz and discuss or reflect upon its results together as a team.

Establishing a culture that fosters resilience can help all your employees to flourish in any organization. Not only will you encourage team members to remain resilient and persistent when faced with difficulties, but you’ll also help them develop healthy mindsets and strong senses of self-control by cultivating gratitude, purpose and curiosity – equipping your team members to face whatever comes their way with resilience while giving them motivation to keep pushing forward even when facing difficulties; equipped with these tools in hand your team can become unstoppable in any environment!

5. Gratitude

Practice gratitude as one of the key resiliency skills you can cultivate to strengthen yourself through difficult times. Showing appreciation can be as simple as saying “thank you” or “I appreciate you”. Furthermore, those who practice gratitude tend to engage in more positive behaviors such as exercising more frequently, seeing their doctor less frequently, and expressing greater happiness.

One way to practice gratitude is to focus on the small things in life, like tasting fresh strawberries or the aroma of flowers. You can also practice mindfulness by tuning into physical sensations such as touching surfaces with your hand or listening to background music, paying close attention to how these details contribute to making each momentous occasion unique.

Are You Searching For Ways to Infuse Gratitude into Your Life? A powerful way of doing this is through writing a gratitude journal. While gratitude writing can be done at any time of the day, for optimal sleep it should be practiced before bed. Journaling provides many benefits but gratitude journals are especially effective at alleviating sleep disturbance and decreasing depression/stress levels.

Note that practicing gratitude alone may not be sufficient to combat symptoms of depression and anxiety; professional therapy or counseling may also be needed. Furthermore, some studies on gratitude’s effects on resilience have focused exclusively on college students which limits its applicability for adults.

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