Developing grit as a leader

What I’m Learning About Developing Grit As A Leader

Some might call it resilience, others sheer will, I like the word grit. How you are developing grit as a leader will determine what life your leadership takes.

Grit is the refusal to:

  • Give up when everything in you screams stop.
  • Sacrifice your integrity regardless of how you’ve been hurt.
  • Take the easy road when the tough road is the right road.
  • Think about yourself less even when the circumstance wants you to.
  • Let discouragement determine your passion.

If you’ve led anything for very long you know what it feels like to want to stop, to be hurt, to be attracted to the shortcut, to belittle yourself, to be discouraged and to quit.

So safeguarding yourself against these things is a long-term investment in your leadership. An ancient proverb says,

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23 – The Bible)

Grit is the result of a heart that has been guarded, not shut off, but protected from the assault leadership inevitably attracts.

Here’s what I’ve learned about developing grit as a leader as I look back on the years and seasons through which I‘ve led:

  1. Don’t repay evil with evil.
  2. Choose always to bless and not curse.
  3. Pin your identity to your creator not to what you can do.
  4. Let your principles, integrity and God guide you.
  5. Have a place of refuge where you can be you and be loved and replenished.
  6. Be disciplined about how you think of yourself; think of yourself accurately like God does.
  7. Surround yourself with a variety of wise people who will encourage you when you’re in the mud.
  8. Love people even if you think they hate you.
  9. Be kind to everyone.
  10. Don’t allow one person’s (or two) view of you become your view of you.
  11. Always create margin to replenish the well from which you lead.
  12. Develop the discipline of reflecting on your leadership and drawing lessons from it.
  13. Know that you have something good to offer people, which will help them so you should keep offering it.
  14. Make good decisions in defining moments.
  15. Take all the time you can to make a good decision.
  16. What seems eternal now, will be revealed as temporary in a little while.
  17. Cling to your calling.
  18. Don’t give up.

Grit will enable you to lead through any storm and emerge on the other side, integrity, passion and heart still intact. What a tragedy it would be, to quit just before a breakthrough comes, and in leadership, there are always breakthroughs. Sometimes they just take a while to be experienced.

Hang in there you’re doing great.


Grit is a leader’s best friend.

Grit is forged in the fire, not bought at a gift shop.

Don’t give up, the cost to those you serve is too great.

If you’ve led for any amount of time you’ve already started developing grit as a leader. What lessons have you learned along the way that can help others?

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