I have a wonderful friend who contacted COVID pneumonia. He found himself in the ICU in a very critical state– struggling and battling for every breath. Lying alone in the cold hospital bed, they informed him, “unless things turn around in the next 24 hours, we’ll have to place you on a ventilator“. Scared and uncertain, he became determined to focus on one breath at a time. Thankfully, things turned around and days later, he was released from the hospital. Still in recovery, he admitted it was the faith and prayers of others, especially the sheer grit that got him through the darkest hours.

Pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth’s research at the University of Pennsylvania identifies grit as the secret to outstanding achievements. Think of that for a moment. It’s not your talent, IQ, technical skills, title, wealth, charisma, or who you know. IT’S GRIT– the ability to work hard for a long period of time towards a goal. To persevere. To overcome. To keep moving forward in the face of adversity, failure, sickness, loneliness, relational conflict, and obstacles.

Here’s what I know:

  • Success doesn’t happen overnight.
  • Anything worthwhile takes time to build.
  • We all face quitting points.
  • Setbacks come right before breakthroughs.
  • Positive leaders refuse to quit.
  • It sure is sweet when you outlast your biggest critics.
I go to the gym on a regular basis and I realized something 30 years ago: resistance builds muscles. We need to build our grit muscles.

As Clemson University Head Coach Dabo Swinney once said, “Don’t worry about criticism from people that you won’t seek advice from.”

Here’s to your grit and success!

As a master storyteller, Steve has unparalleled ability to communicate dynamic business and leadership truths through stories, anecdotes and humor. Harness the power of the “number one” predictor of professional success, impact, leadership, high performance and sustainable relationships in business and life. Steve’s highest rated keynote presentation.

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“The purpose of Leadership Quest is to help professionals develop their personal leadership, vision and emotional intelligence. Everyday I strive to help leaders and teams achieve their desired goals in sales productivity, leadership, time maximization, and life-balance. ”

About the Author

Steve Gutzler is the President of Leadership Quest, a Seattle-based leadership development company. Steve is a dynamic, highly-sought-after speaker who has delivered more than 2,500 presentations to a list of clients including Microsoft, Starbucks, the Seattle Seahawks, Pandora Radio, Boeing, Cisco, Starwood Corporation, the Ritz Carlton group, and the U.S. Social Security Administration. He recently was voted #1 by the readership of Huffington Post as the Most Inspirational Leader on Social Media.

A published author on leadership and emotional intelligence, Steve resides near Seattle with his wife Julie where they enjoy time with their three adult children and six grandchildren.