Grit

September 30th, 2011

“Every strike out brings me closer to the next home run”
–Babe Ruth

Whether you are employed, in transition or a free agent, you are at bat every minute of every day. Security is a fantasy in this marketplace. Your last home run is only a resume statistic in each new inning. Past achievement is insufficient to ensure future success.

Many very successful professionals, executives and entrepreneurs are stuck in the belief that if they only found the right position, they would be home free. There is freedom in realizing that it is no longer about finding the “right career”, the stable employer or the annuity client.

What we are seeing now is that occupational stability is being replaced by continuous churn. This shift demands an expanded workplace attitude: adaptability to replace constancy, commitment to a field of endeavor not a single employer, continuous and sincere relationship building beyond episodic “networking”, and an ability to bounce back and redirect your energies in the face of derailment or change. The word I have heard to encapsulate this new work mind set is GRIT.

In his wonderful book, Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell emphasizes that while luck (access, generation, circumstances and even the month you were born) clearly influence success, a key component to achieving professional prominence is effort. He has figured out that star achievers like Bill Gates and The Beatles have put in at least 10,000 hours of effort, practice and resiliency before hitting the charts.

Discouraged? If you really care about what you want to do, the desire overrides the despair. At that point, you have no choice but to go to bat again….because you anticipate that potential home run coming!

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