Good bosses are hard working and resilient. They keep employees inspired in good times and bad. Failure is seen as bumps on the way to winning and success.
One of my Chief People Officer executive coaching clients models true grit. She taps into the creative DNA of employees by helping people weather failure and instilling optimism that success is just around the corner. She believes in her people and their shared purpose.
Robert I. Sutton, PhD, author of the New York Times bestseller The No Asshole Rule, knows about bosses. In his most recent book, Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best...and Learn from the Worst (Business Plus, 2010) he focuses on how to be a better boss.
“Gritty bosses are driven by the nagging conviction that everything they and their people do could be better if they tried just a little harder or were just a bit more creative,” Sutton writes.
Such bosses instill grit in subordinates. Without creating the impression that everything is an emergency, great bosses have a sense of urgency. They are dogged and patient, sensing when to press forward and when to be flexible. As Albert Einstein once stated: “It’s not that I am so smart; it is just that I stay with my problems longer.”
University of Pennsylvania Assistant Professor of Psychology Angela Duckworth, PhD, and her colleagues define grit as perseverance and passion toward long-term goals.
“Grit entails working strenuously toward challenges, maintaining effort and interest despite failure, adversity and plateaus in progress,” they wrote in a 2007 Journal of Personality and Social Psychology paper.
Without becoming discouraging, bosses with grit believe that progress isn’t always good enough—that you can never stop learning or rest on your laurels.
The Questions to Ask Yourself
a. Do you treat work as a marathon or a sprint?
b. Do you look for quick fixes?
c. Do you instill a sense of urgency without treating everything as a crisis?
d. In the face of failures, do you persist or give up?
Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development to grow emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching to help leaders focus on strengths and persevere? Leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to fully engage employees and customers.
One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Do I demonstrate true grit at work?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching for collaborative leaders who persevere through adversity.