Why do some people succeed while others give up? What is it that allows certain individuals to endure the toughest challenges without wavering? Is it education, training, upbringing, connections, social status, or money? The answer may surprise you.
In one of the most significant business books that has been written in the past ten years, Angela Duckworth uncovers the secret to long term success. Initially, she set out to learn why some cadets at West Point made it through Beast Barracks while others gave up. The Army wanted to know what the leading indicator of success was of this difficult challenge. She discovered that high achievement wasn’t predicted by SAT scores, GPA, athletics, race, gender, or social status. The most important trait was “grit.”
In Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Angela Duckworth reveals that grit, which is defined as “passion and perseverance for long-term goals,” is the secret to success. It is the one determining factor as to why some cadets make it through Beast Barracks and others drop out. It’s the same thing I wrote about in The One Trait Your CEO Wants You to Have. Only those with persistence, passion, and perseverance will be successful in the long run when things get tough.
This is what make veterans so invaluable in the workforce. I’ve written about the importance of hiring veterans in an article called Six Reasons You Need to Hire a Veteran Today. In that article, I explained that military veterans make outstanding employees because they possess numerous traits like loyalty, dependability, adaptability, integrity, and discipline that are desperately needed in the workplace. Their extensive training, leadership experiences, mission-focus, and team-orientation allow them to add immediate impact to any organization.
What’s even more important is that veterans have grit. The military provides unique, high-stress experiences where soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen must endure significant hardships and still perform at a high level. Whether repairing a vehicle under fire, landing a damaged aircraft, or bringing a submarine to periscope depth in rough seas, veterans are trained to excel in the toughest situations. They persevere through the toughest trials because they are passionate about their country, their family, their unit, and their buddies.
Military veterans bring unique attributes, skills, and experiences that will enhance any organization. They are loyal, dependable, hard-working employees who know how to lead, how to follow, and can get things done. But the most important trait they have is grit. When things get tough, they persevere.
By Jon Rennie
Co-founder, President & CEO of Peak Demand Inc., a premier manufacturer of transmission and distribution components for electrical utilities and OEMs. Former U.S. Naval Submarine Officer with seven deployments on the USS Tennessee. Submarine and Nuclear Engineer qualified. BS Mechanical Engineering, MBA, and MS in Manufacturing Leadership from Cambridge University in the UK. Leadership blogger at jonsrennie.com.
Photo courtesy of U.S. Marine Cpl. Austin Long