I’ve been thinking this week about the elements of Entrepreneurial GRIT. Although the role of the entrepreneurial leader requires a broad set of skills, one of the fundamental qualities required for success is simply the capacity to continue. Here are 5 Thoughts on Perseverance. I hope you find these useful.
1. Entrepreneurs must be able to hold on to their personal vision for the organization. Regardless of how discouraging the current situation may be, exceptional leaders are able to stay focused on their picture of the desired future. They find inspiration for themselves and others by keeping that vision alive and reminding themselves where they are headed and why.
2. Entrepreneurs must have unwavering commitment to the future opportunity. This trait goes by many names - fortitude, stamina, and GRIT - it is simply the capacity to do everything possible and to resist the temptation to simply give up.
3. Entrepreneurs must have a pragmatic sense of optimism. Strong leaders have an almost intuitive feel for finding their way through the brambles in their path. They are creative, and able to call on all their skills and senses no matter how trying the circumstances. They are extraordinarily resourceful, constantly finding new approaches, new perspectives and new insights.
4. Entrepreneurs must understand the importance of repetition. This can mean the difference between surviving or devolving. Just as athletes and musicians must continuously maintain their skills in the fundamentals, the same is true for entrepreneurs. Oftentimes the work of slogging through difficulties involves a renewed emphasis on the fundamental, unglamorous and yet essential functions that first created the passion for the concept.
5. Entrepreneurs must conserve their emotional strength by keeping a cool head. During times of stress, the conservation of energy is critical, and unnecessary drama consumes energy. In an emotionally challenging time, the exceptional leader is able to maintain clarity about how and when to expend precious emotional energy.