Today I was sitting on an airplane reading the March 2011 issue of Fast Company. An article titled “True Grit” caught my eye. It was written by Dan and Chip Heath, the authors of “The Switch: How to Change When Change is Hard.” The main premise of this article was the concept of “grit”. Do you have grit? What is it? The author’s discussed psychological research that defined grit as “endurance in pursuit of a long term goal and an ability to persist in the face of adversity.” I found this concept to be brilliant! As leaders, we are flooded with a million adjectives we should try to attain one day, but I had never heard grit applied to Project Management, although – it certainly fits!
Grit describes the slow and steady progress Monkeys in the Middle face everyday – through the funding cuts, ever changing requirements, team dynamics, and other obstacles – they find a way to succeed. Grit does not automatically give you the feeling that you just won the Super Bowl. Grit feels more like how a lineman for the winning Super Bowl team feels somewhere during game seven of the regular season during another 2nd and 10. Just remember the key to success is truly found in those moments.