3 Dimensions of Grit in Leadership Development


Grit is passion and perseverance over the long haul. Can such grit actually apply to your own commitment to develop yourself as a leader?

Would you use the word “grit” to describe your commitment to leadership development?

At this year’s Global Leadership Summit, Bill Hybels taught on the 5 Intangibles of Leadership starting off with the concept of “grit.” In defining grit, Bill quoted psychologist and researcher Angela Duckworth by saying, “Grit is passion and perseverance over the long haul.”

Can such grit actually apply to your own commitment to develop yourself as a leader?

To see if this applies to you, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. How much effort would I expend to expose myself to leadership development?

With the international Global Leadership Summit season now upon us, I am reminded of how much leadership development grit we’ve seen around the world. In parts of Africa, we have seen pastors who would walk for several hours, or days, to sharpen their leadership skills by attending the Global Leadership Summit.

That’s leadership development grit.

  1. Over the years, is my appetite for development growing or waning?

Not long ago, I spoke with my friend Phillip Mutzelburg, who helped to found the Willow Creek Association in Australia more than 20 years ago.

An accomplished leader in the church, business and the military, I asked him what keeps his drive for leadership development alive. His response? “I keep discovering how much I have to learn.”

That’s leadership development grit.

  1. How far do you push your leadership development boundaries?

By that I mean, do you keep looking for, and learning from, new leadership authors and experiences?

One leader I spoke to in the Philippines told me, “What keeps me coming back to the Global Leadership Summit each year is the exposure it gives me to brand new concepts from leaders I’ve sometimes never even heard of.”

That’s leadership development grit.

To grow as a leader requires enormous tenacity and resolve over a long period of time. It is not, as Bill reminded us, for the faint of heart.

Let me urge you to evaluate your “grit level” through these simple questions.

Because as your grit toward development goes up, you can be sure your effectiveness in leadership will grow just as much.

How do you maintain grit in your own development?

Written by: Scott Cochrane

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