A Gritty CEO's Mindset
Push-ups suck. What if you were told you needed to do 20,000 this calendar year?
Push-ups are hard work and mustering the mental motivation to do them is more than tough. Getting through 20,000 would require a few qualities, among them: grit and discipline.
Some envision the CEO with their feet up on a marble desk in a corner office admiring the imported bamboo tree while the workers do all the work. The truth is that deeply great leaders are far from this image. They require a gritty mindset, enabling them to grind through the dirt when the job requires it of them. In these pulses of grit, they demonstrate boundless discipline. They resist temptation to look too far ahead and commit to daily micro-improvements that prepare their organizations to cope with the next challenge.
Some leaders would look at this 20K push-up challenge and say it is impossible. Others would say it is no problem but not complete it.
However, the greatest of leaders, who score high on grit and discipline, would do the math and decide that an average of 55 push-ups would need to be done each day, or 385 each week. They would then draft a system that tracks the amount done each day and they would understand that their strength and form would get better throughout the year. They would also assume there would be barriers of very busy days, travel days, vacations days, sick days and others. They would also understand that if they could get deep enough into the year, checking off calendar day after calendar day, that the nearness of year end would pull them in. They would experience this “pulling” at various times throughout the year as they would have sectionalized the calendar year into months and quarters, tracking progress early and often to prevent needed catch-up days.
If this all sounds reasonable and maybe even motivating, then you are a leader that scores high on these two metrics. This combination of grit and discipline offers the ability of deciphering complex, tedious rules in a changing game. Grit and discipline allow them to work within a set of rules to ensure their company does what it needs to do to survive. While others may give-up when an intimidating amount of work or daunting task comes up, great leaders apply their combination of grit plus discipline to swim through the complicated currents.
If your CEO has their feet resting on fancy desks in offices with fancy plants, hold your opinion of them until you have considered if they can do more push-ups than you. You may not witness them doing any, because they have a system for getting them in when you have your feet up.
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