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Developing Your Grit!

There comes a time when ALL leaders will face certain challenges. Not the everyday kind of challenges but those challenges that in the end will set you apart from the rest of the crowd; the pack. Those challenges are those that require you (as a leader) to step up and take the reins of the situation. People that follow you or will eventually follow you will see that you have the GRIT (courage and resolve; strength of character) to a leader worthy of their followership.

Developing your grit as early as possible is something that will most certainly benefit you for all the days and challenges to come. As a leader that has developed their GRIT also knows that those future challenges will NOT be easy nor will be difficult. They will be faced head on by that leader because she or he knows that the challenges must be addressed in the most direct and appropriate manner. Developing that GRIT allows leaders to see beyond the barriers and through the walls those unique challenges bring. Followers want a leader that is already working beyond the barriers long before the walls and barriers are breached. Leaders that have moved beyond those obstacles are the leaders that are continuously honing their TRUE GRIT and as always when it comes to being a better leader, a Walking Leader, honing your True Grit is NON-NEGOTIABLE.

Take a listen to episode 155 of the Walking Leader podcast as I talk about how as the Walking Leader you must develop your True Grit.


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Leaders are a very special breed of people. Special in that they recognize the need to constantly work at becoming better leaders. As leaders, they know the way to become better involves a very diverse and broad reaching actions. Actions deliver huge impacts on their growth but also serve as motivating factors for their followers. These unique leaders know that it all begins when they get out from behind their desks and walk the company floor. While out and about their actions and behaviors will be under close observation. They do this because they are leaders worthy of followers. These actions and behaviors will contribute to the continued growth of the leader, her peers, her followers, and all stakeholders.

#1 Leaders Get Out From Behind Their Desks
All Leaders know first hand they cannot lead sitting behind a desk. Leaders must get up from behind their desks and not only walk around their department but also walk the company floor. A leader that wants to become a better leader knows that being visible and available all while ensuring their duties and responsibilities are met are the kind of leaders that will move up in the organization. This does not mean that a leader has to schmooze but it does mean they have to get out and meet people. By meeting people, I mean they have to meet everyone in the organization not only the C-Suite. Being one of those individuals that would rather schmooze the bosses and look down on the receptionist does not even qualify as a bad manager. Don’t do it! If you are currently doing that, just stop! Get back on track and start shaking those hands. Greet people, go to them, do not wait for them to come to you. Smile, Say Hello and most of all, MEAN IT! Do not be like that bad manager and go through the motions. No matter what you do, always make time to get out there, either schedule it or force it but remain consistent. Oh, do not for one second think you can ignore your team. They take their cues from you, so ensure you visit with them as well.

#2 Leaders Say What They Mean and Mean What They Say
Resolving to becoming a better leader means the leader is always changing and evolving. However, not all things need to change only refined. The one thing that can never be changed is the leader’s authenticity, it can only get better through refinement. The leader that never flinches with what they say and what they do is a leader that cannot waiver from his/her duty and responsibility to those she leads. A leader that can be counted on to say what they mean and mean what they say will never be questioned as to their authenticity because their track record is proven. Certainly, I am not saying anything new here. I am, however, reinforcing that through constant growth, development, and refinement of who they are, what they stand for, and how they convey that message to everyone. Leaders may find that it is not easy to sharpen and refine their level of authenticity if they were to sit down and think about how they are going to be better. Sadly, to sharpen and refine means to get up and do. It means to get up off your backside and start doing.

#3 Leaders Value The Opinions of Others, Even If They Do Not Agree With Them
As the world is full of individuals that would rather use their powers for evil or nefarious acts, those that would use their powers for good get cast to the wayside. For those individuals that use their powers for good and are in positions of leadership are the lucky few. They are lucky because using their powers and abilities for good include valuing the opinions of others, especially if they do not agree with them. In this current political climate, there are so many varying views in the home, the work place, social gatherings, you name it. Leaders that value the opinions of others are also rare, few and far between but they are out there. Those leaders that make it a point to hear all sides of the argument are the leaders that will be around for a long time. Why? They respect people. They respect that uniqueness of individuals. They respect people enough to hear them out. This does not mean leaders have to agree with everyone. Remember, leaders cannot be all things to all people. Great Leaders know this as do the people that follow the leader. A Great Leader will have to weigh everything and then act on what is best for the group and sometimes, that is not the popular thing. Even when it is not popular, the one thing that all followers will agree on is that the leader took the time to hear and listen to them.

#4 Leaders Are NOT Quick To Judge
Leaders must never be quick to judge. To be fair and impartial, leaders are always at risk of being considered bias and partial, is not easy. However, a leader that is not biased and is impartial is one that has seen more than his fair share of bias, prejudice, favoritism, and other atrocities. A leader that has experienced that form of nonsense and can come out of it a fair and just individual is a leader worthy of leading and shaping the future of others. These are the leaders that will seek, gather, collect, and assess the information needed to make timely and sound decisions. A leader such as this will intentionally withhold judgment of others, especially when the information provided seems purely one-sided. A leader that has a sense of fair play will advocate for everyone to be heard and understood. Jumping to conclusions or delivering a decision before knowing all there is to know is the fast track to becoming known as unfair and unjust. Once tagged as unfair and unjust the leader might as well turn in his title as leader and consider himself a bad manager at best. This may sound harsh but the reality is there are still many individuals out there that through their own inability to do the right thing will continue to behave in such a manner. However, as a leader that believes in fairness, justice and equity is a leader that is making more leaders to not only become like her but better. Truly that is the leader’s ultimate goal.

#5 Leaders Never Front
Leaders are ORIGINAL. Leaders are UNIQUE. Leaders are ONE IN A MILLION. To be unique, original, and one in a million a leader must never front. Never put up a façade or a false front. Leaders do not have the luxury of fronting. Leader cannot afford to be caught fronting. A leader that fronts will quickly be discovered as a fraud, a fake and once labeled a fake or fraud, a leader almost never recovers. Why is it so difficult for a leader to recover from being labelled or considered a fake or fraud? Time and the Value of time. The time, effort, energy and value given to the leader by her followers. A leader will take her time to gain and maintain the trust of her followers. When that trust is broken then it becomes a deep, emotional loss. This loss is hard to replace. Remember, we are talking about leaders, real leaders, and not managers, especially when there is no love lost between a “micro-manager” and his employees. While it may be tempting for an up and coming leader to play a little “one-up” it is most certainly not beneficial to the career of that leader to even attempt to start or sustain that type of front. A leader, especially one that wants to improve themselves must not fall for the quick hits brought on by fronting but instead will work diligently to be original, unique and someone that will work to improve the trust between him and his followers.

These five things leaders do to become better leaders are just the tip of the iceberg of leadership. To become a better leader, you have to keep trying. You have to find what works for you as an individual. While many will say you have to do this or have to do that to be a great leader. What you have to do is find what works for you, stick to it, then add something else. A true leader will always seek improvement in themselves and in others. A leader that is on her way to become a Great Leader knows that doing what it takes comes with a price. The price is simple; never slack off and always stay on course. Yes, achieving Greatness is that simple. Many do not achieve that greatness because it looks like, feels like, sounds like and tastes like work.

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David G. Guerra, MBA
email: [email protected]
twitter: @daveguerra
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About Me Change Her & Him short story Writing

Her & Him: The Backseat – a very short story by David Guerra

I have been tinkering with the idea of writing in a different genre. While I am not abandoning Historical Fiction, I am considering something else.

Here is a little something to give you an idea of what I am talking about. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

The Backseat by David Guerra

“Where is it?” an adult woman’s voice asks.

“It’s right there,” the accompanying adult male responds.

“It’s too small,” with a little frustration in her voice she replies.

“It is not too small. It’s right there. You are not working it right,” he says with a little frustration in his voice, as well.

“I am working it right. It is just too small,” she sarcastically or matter-of-factly replies.

He can’t tell.

“Do I have to do it, again?” as the level of frustration in his voice slightly increases he asks.

“No! I can do it. If you let me do it.”

“What does that mean?” slight discomfort replaces the frustration.

“I mean, you do it all the time and I hardly do it, so I want to do it.”

“What do you mean I do it all the time?” now the discomfort comes out.

“I’ve seen you doing it,” she replies with a slight knowing smile on her face as she looks at him.

“Oh,” is his humble response.

“Oh? This is not the time to become shy. Now scoot over, let me get my fingers on it and let me try,” she says with a tone of deliberate intent.

“OK,” he says as he shifts his body over give her room to work.

Soon the SUV is rocking and swaying back and forth. Luckily, where the SUV is parked there is little to no chance of anyone walking by. If there were from the outside, passersby would not see what is happening on the other side of the vehicle’s dark tinted windows. Then again, why would anyone want to see the activity inside a parked swaying vehicle?

It’s a little bit later now. Maybe three minutes later.

After numerous near misses, a lot of shifting of bodies and fumbling fingers the female voice from inside the SUV calls out, “Yes, Yes!”

“Yes! I think you’re getting it,” he says with some excitement in his voice. His increased breathing gives his excitement away.

“Oh gawd yes, finally,” she joins in with her exhilaration knowing the end is near.

“What does that mean?” he asks as all the excitement has left his voice.

“Damn it! Don’t start, you’ll ruin it,” vainly holding on to what is left of her excite.

“Ok, Ok, come on hurry up so we can go back inside. The windows are all fogged up,” he says as he tries to regain his composure.

“I know right. We’ve been out here too long but I didn’t think it would take this long. Usually you are done in a minute or two.”

“Yeah, but I am usually alone or without an audience,” with the wind out of his sails he replies.

“Sorry, I didn’t think you were sensitive about this.”

“Hey, sometimes the male ego can only take so much of a beating,” stating his case.

“You can say that again,” she says with a slight knowing smile and a slight gleam in her eye.

“Huh? Oh never mind, look what happened,” they both look at it and he continues, “We started talking and now you don’t have it.”

“My you do distract easy,” now she is full on with a small wicked smile.

“OK, now what does that mean?” he asks.

“It means when you lose concentration, I lose concentration and now we have to start all over again,” she says as she plays all her cards.

“Me, lose concentration?” he asks, “You are the one hell bent on doing it. So let’s do it!”

“Fine. Let’s do it. Wait a second look at it,” they both look at it and she continues, “It looks smaller.”

“It’s not smaller. It the same size it has always been. You are just looking at it wrong.”

“I know,” she says with a smile and a wink, “Let’s get situated again, so we can finish.”

“Yes, let’s.”

The man and the woman adjust themselves in the backseat of the SUV. She moves just enough to get her hand back in the right position and he moves ever so slightly to not crowd her but to give her enough room to work with comfort and to get the job done.

A minute or two later and after more moving, fumbling around, near misses and some frustrating moments.

“Yes!” she calls out sensing the end is now really truly seconds away.

“Yes?” with a slight sense of doubt that it is finally happening.

“YESSSS!!!” a great sense of accomplishment overcomes her.

“I knew you could do it,” he says as he looks down to see her handy work, “See, it’s not too small you just had to get your fingers around it to work it and the rest was easy.”

“Yes but it wasn’t too easy getting to that point,” she adds, “Next time, let me do it from the start or do it by yourself.”

“Next time?”

“You know there will be a next time. There is always a next time,” she says.

“True. Come on let’s go inside. It is really humid in here. Beside we got to clean it before someone wants to use it, again,” he says as he becomes aware of his surroundings, “Look at windows they are not only fogged up but already running with condensation.”

“How long were we out here?” she asks.

“A couple of minutes at most.”

“Felt like hours to me,” she quickly adds.

“Now what is that supposed to mean?” he says as he wonders how does she do it to be so quick witted.

“Nothing, just that I was the one doing all the work.”

“You wanted to do it,” he retorts.

“Oh, don’t get your panties in a bunch,” she states, “I just wanted to make the best of the time we had alone. Besides how often do you and I get to spend some alone time in the back of the SUV doing anything even this?

“Not enough,” he says as he leans over to kiss her as he opens the back passenger door.

“Next time, we do this promise me we turn the AC on.”

“It’s a deal,” he says as he help her out of the SUV.

She hugs and kisses him.

He returns the kiss as he wraps his arms around her, she lets his hands roam down and grabs two handfuls of her ample bottom.

“Settle down you. There is no time for that, I have to go clean this pacifier before you know who wakes up.”

He agrees and turns around to go back to the SUV.

“Where are you going?”

“Going back to figure out how that pacifier keeps falling in between the floor board and the side panel.”

The End…