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Are The Odds In Your Favor?

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November 5, 2018

Are The Odds In Your Favor?

Life doesn’t have to resemble the Hunger Games.  Yet, more often than not, it’s pretty darn close.

Obviously, life does not involve a post-apocalyptic social experiment in which we fight to the death with opponents from other communities or industries, ahem, Districts.  But, our daily lives are ripe with challenges, #lifegoals and perceptions about success that might seem out of reach.

So this week, we’re wondering: what does it take the tip the odds in your favor?

One word: GRIT

This is not a fancy metaphor for iron sharpens iron, or in the case of grit ratings, a knife sharpening stone.

We’re talking about the ground-breaking work of psychologist Dr. Angela Duckworth.  If you haven’t see her TED Talk or picked up her book on the same subject, it’s worth a read.

As Duckworth defines it, Grit is “passion and perseverance for long-term goals.”  It’s about the “can-do vs. can’t do” or “thrive or survive” combination of attitude and work ethic that yields outperforming results over time.

And, when you think about how Grit is characterized in professional settings — stick-to-it-ness, creative problem solving, a growth mindset and self-motivation– these are all attributes we want reflected in our teams.  (We sure sure do)

We think Grit matters, particularly for entrepreneurs and innovators, who hear more no more than yes and fail more times any other careers of choice. Here’s why:

Watch Out, Darwin!

Duckworth is careful to make clear that Grit is more about tenacity than talent.  When we focus on highlighting the talented team members, or those who have a natural predilection for achievement, we alienate others who possess  an equal capacity to succeed through hard work and determination.

Are you creating a “natural bias”  environment within your organization?  If so, it’s likely that you measure for the number of accomplishments achieved in the shortest period of time.  Next time, instead of celebrating only natural abilities, shift the focus to identifying who is Grittier over the long run.

Do or Do Not

Yoda is rarely wrong:  there is no try.  Making “an attempt” puts on display only half the effort necessary to achieve a desired outcome.  Even amidst difficulty, an attempt offers no commitment, no follow through, no follow up, and no Plan B to failure.

Duckworth explains that high level performances in academic or professional settings alike (including West Point Academy, the National Spelling Bee, Fortune 100 companies, etc.) are, in fact, “an accretion of mundane acts.”  What might you accomplish by incrementally mastering the day-to-day tasks?  Perhaps more than your best efforts of now.

Healthy Competition

Ready to test your GRIT?  We’re giving you the perfect opportunity at this week’s #VCMTakeover with a special version of the Hunger Games (Miami Style).  We’ve designed the thrilling experience of five (5) death-defying challenges that explore our Homelessness Awareness Day theme, with THE ultimate fun prize.  Join us this week at the #ThursdayGathering.

And, may the odds ever be in your favor.


Venture Cafe Miami

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