Possessing grit has been named by the scientific community as the key ingredient for personal success. Grit is the internal quality that helps a particularly tenacious individual see a goal through to the end.
I find this an interesting concept applied to business. Most often the formula for product success is developing an exceptional product then telling the right story that meets a key customer need at just the right time. So how does grit fit into that equation?
Many of the people that we think of as successful now experienced many failures before seeing even a glimmer of success. 90 publisher rejections for a book. Two failed auto companies before Ford launched Ford Motor Company. One failed startup preceded Microsoft for Bill Gates.
It appears to me that having grit allowed these entrepreneurs to try again and again to find that magical formula of right product, story, need and time. They were willing to course correct in the sort-term to pursue their long-term goal. Sure, each failure was a big blow but, somehow they got up and had another go at it.
Grit is at the top of the success ingredient pyramid. Being “gritty” gives professionals the resilience to withstand the failures, the openness to learn from mistakes, and the fuel to plow through the multiple tries it takes to eventually achieve the formula for success.
Researcher Angela Lee Duckworth explains the importance of grit: