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During performance review season did you find yourself wondering why people with similar qualifications differ in what they are able to achieve?

What Did They Say?

Angela Duckworth https://angeladuckworth.com/ decided to find the answer to that question by interviewing high achievers like JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll.  She also conducted research at West Point and in urban college preparatory schools like YES Prep in Houston.

Passion + Persistence = Grit

Duckworth concluded that the secret to outstanding achievement is a special blend of passion and persistence she calls grit, defined as “sticking with things over the very long term until you master them.”  The good news is that grit can be learned and improved over time.  How can you leverage grit to keep working toward your goals even when you face frustrations and setbacks?

To find out how “gritty” you are, take the test here Grit Scale.

What if we train them and they leave?  What if we don’t and they stay?

This nugget of wisdom was passed down to a seasoned leader from one of his mentors as a lesson in the importance of investing in people development.

Long View vs. Quick Results

As a leadership development professional it’s always encouraging to hear a commitment to the long view.  How do you maintain that view when the pressure is on to achieve quick results in the short term?  You have to be willing to swim upstream and persuade other leaders to do the same.

Consider These Techniques

  • Highlight the ROI of development efforts – retention, promotion and increased productivity
  • Have leaders nominate high potential participants for development programs and identify measureable goals for each person, then tie those goals to ROI
  • Conduct exit interviews to understand perceptions of the company’s investment in people and how that affects recruitment and retention
  • Ensure that your development programs don’t assume a “one and done” approach — build on a foundation over time

If you train them and they leave you would ask them what they’re gaining.  If you don’t and they stay – ask yourself what you’re gaining.