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The HaBO Village Podcast

The Power of Grit and Perseverance in Business [Podcast]

Episode 151: Michael and Kathryn discuss Angela Duckworth's book, Grit, and why business leaders should be thinking about perseverance. Growing a business is never easy. If you find yourself in constant survival mode, and need some encouragement, give this episode a listen.

man climbing mountain illustration

 

In This Episode You Will...

  • Discover the meaning of grit and why it matters for business leaders.

  • Find out how you can grow and develop grit over time.

  • Get tips on how to create a culture of grit in your own company.

“The stories we tell ourselves are really important when it comes to developing grit." 

- Kathryn Redman

 

Resiliency Quiz

References:

Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance (by Angela Duckworth)

 

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Michael:
              Hello everyone. And welcome to the HaBO Village podcast. I'm Michael Redman.


Kathryn:
               And I'm Kathryn Redman.


Michael:
              And we're here today to bring you a podcast that's about businesses. Small businesses, leadership in businesses. The goal for this podcast is to give you tips, ideas, and hope for growing and building your business, your team as a small business or medium business leader. And we hope that you would have more profit, more purpose and more legacy in it. We call that the passion and provision strategy. Today we're going to talk about...


Kathryn:
               Perseverance.


Michael:
              Perseverance.


Kathryn:
               And we're going to talk about perseverance because as it turns out, the journey is not always an easy one.


Michael:
              The journey is not always easy. Life's journey is not always an easy one.


Kathryn:
               I'm pretty sure everyone out there is going, like, "What?"


Michael:
              What are you talking about?


Kathryn:
               I started a business, of course, it's easy. I'm doing what I want to do. I love my life. What could have gone wrong?


Michael:
              I'm making bank.


Kathryn:
               Yeah.


Michael:
              Do people say making bank anymore?


Kathryn:
               I don't know.


Michael:
              I think kids say it. The kids say it, "I'm making bank."


Kathryn:
               I'm making bank.


Michael:
              I brought home 50 bucks.


Kathryn:
               I don't think they don't say that. Especially not if it's 50 bucks.


Michael:
              Yeah. Well, okay. Five-year-old mind, but they may not know what a bank is. All right. So as we digress, let's jump into the whole concept of perseverance. So for me, the reason we're talking about perseverance today is just with COVID and business and life, and just trying to move things forward, it just seems like things are a little bit more challenging, if not a lot more challenging these days.


Michael:
              We've been very fortunate and blessed this last year and a half. Business has been good. We're trying to grow in some places, but it's just like, it's hard work this whole thing. I mean, it'd be nice if we could say, "Hey, growing a business is easy, it's not hard work at all." But anything worth having is worth hard work and you got to stick to it. Sure.


Kathryn:
               But I want to start this by telling a story.


Michael:
              Oh, okay.


Kathryn:
               So I'm going to take us back to the year, 1995.


Michael:
              Cue the memory music.


Kathryn:
               Is that right? Yeah, 1995. Michael and I were fairly newly married. I was pregnant with our first child, turned out to be our only child, but we didn't know at the time, but there you go.


Michael:
              It's still our first.


Kathryn:
               It's still our first child, never changed. We had bought a house and we decided that we needed to remodel the kitchen. Okay, you have to understand the kitchen was Leave It to Beaver. If you're too young to remember Leave it to Beaver, think 1950s kitchen, literally metal cabinets, pink countertops, the dishwasher pulled up out of the sink. I mean, it was fully Leave it to Beaver kitchen. Very retro. I'm sure somebody might've thought that was cool, but we really decided we needed to upgrade this kitchen.


Michael:
              It was bad.


Kathryn:
               So Michael said, "Okay, to do this we're going to gut the kitchen." And I said, "Okay, great." So one morning it was a Saturday morning, that I will never forget. I went to my baby shower at our friend Dave and Laurie's house. Meanwhile-


Michael:
              It was a bad day.


Kathryn:
               ...Michael was at home and at the time we were youth pastors, and so he had invited our junior high and high school students to come and help him demo the kitchen. Now I'm having my baby shower, which tells you that I'm not just like three months pregnant. I'm actually like seven months pregnant. I'm a ways along when this particular Saturday occurs. Now you're probably thinking to yourself, good God, what were you thinking? Okay.


Michael:
              All the men are understanding right now.


Kathryn:
               All the men are thinking, Michael, you're an idiot. So here's how this thing goes down. I come home from the baby shower with a car full of stuff and toys. And as I'm-


Michael:
              How does this apply to persevere?


Kathryn:
               I'm going to explain it. As I'm walking in through the front door, there's this kid, Jeff Golden, one of our favorites.


Michael:
              It's funny, I don't think we'll ever forget his name.


Kathryn:
               Never forget his name. He runs by me with a sledgehammer and says, "Kathy," because that's what they called me back then, "Kathy, this is great. We're hitting... How did he say? "We're crushing your kitchen. We're smacking the walls. I don't know.


Michael:
              I wasn't there when that conversation happened.


Kathryn:
               I don't know. Anyway, he's with a sledgehammer. He said, "We're destroying your kitchen." That was what it was.


Michael:
              We had lath and plaster, and it all came down including the ceiling.


Kathryn:
               So I walk in. Now realize, Michael and I have had a conversation. We have decided together, yes, we need to upgrade this kitchen. And for whatever reason, we decided this was the time to do it before the baby came. So I had agreed to this. I mean, it's not like I came home not knowing it was happening.


Michael:
              You agreed.


Kathryn:
               But this was pre Chip and Joanna. I have never been through a remodel at this point in my life. I did not understand what demo day actually was. So when I walked into the kitchen and I could see my attic, I lost it. I walked straight out the back door, found this pile of sheet rock, sat on it and just started crying. And then I proceeded to go back to my friend Dave and Laurie's.


Michael:
              It was a stack. It was a stack of sheet rock. It was ready to go in the house.


Kathryn:
               Yes. It was new sheet rock.


Michael:
              As opposed to a pile of used sheet rock.


Kathryn:
               Why do I tell you that story?


Michael:
              I'm still waiting.


Kathryn:
               I know you're still waiting. Here's it. We start businesses, we move into things, we make decisions. Even when we've thought it through and we think we're making good decisions and we know it's going to be hard, I knew this wasn't going to be an easy season, but I did not have any grasp on how hard it was going to be. I had no clue. There was dust everywhere. I'm seven months pregnant, I'm doing dishes in my bath tub. And finally-


Michael:
              Well that's because I-


Kathryn:
               Well, you ripped out the kitchen. There was nowhere else to do it.


Michael:
              I also ripped out 90% of the plumbing in the house.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. So all that to say, for about two weeks, I wrestled with this. And then finally we found a friend who had some pity on us and I moved out. Michael came with me, but-


Michael:
              Well, they had extra space.


Kathryn:
               I almost don't want to say you came with me. I just want to say I moved out. But the point being, it was so much harder than I thought it was going to be. So sometimes that's where we find ourselves in business. We make a decision, we think about it together. We say, "Yep, we're all in." But ultimately it becomes so much harder than we thought it was going to be. And this is where the need for perseverance begins to kick in.


Michael:
              Well, this is like having a baby. Once you're in, you're no going back. There's just [inaudible 00:06:42]. Because the sheet rock, the lath and plaster, it's gone. The kitchen's bare bones to the studs.


Kathryn:
               Yeah.


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               And by the way, we made it. I was painting, don't reprimand me, painting the night that I went into labor, but the kitchen was completely done. Everything was back in place. It was all cleaned up. It was pretty spectacular, but Oh my.


Michael:
              It was awesome. Yeah, I was 27 years old and I warn every young man, once your wife is pregnant, just get the bedroom ready for the baby. And don't do remodel.


Kathryn:
               Don't tear her house apart. It's a bad, bad idea.


Michael:
              But, no, perseverance. And with businesses or in anything, there's projects you start, or there's things that you think, okay, this is where... man, it's like riding a bicycle. I used to ride my bicycle a lot when I was younger. And I would take long trips with my boy Scouts and different groups. You're like, okay, we're finally on flat ground and you come around the corner and all of a sudden there's another incline or what in a car, didn't look like an incline that, Oh man, it's an incline.


Michael:
              You're in that, and you go, "Okay, I've got to keep going. How do I stick to it?" Today we're going to talk about some really practical things. Because as we tell stories and talk about this, we just need to have a discussion. I think we were talking about it, all of us at times need to have a discussion about perseverance and grit, because we're all going through difficult times. We're all going through something that's challenging. As a friend of ours said one time a long time ago, he said, "We are all either going into, in the middle of, or coming out of a storm."


Kathryn:
               I really hated that when he said that.


Michael:
              Well, it was true.


Kathryn:
               It's like, once I've come out of it, how long do I get to be out of it before I have to go back into it? That's the question.


Michael:
              And we were in a typhoon at the time. When you're either going in, in the middle of, or coming out of a storm, and then there's that break in between, so maybe you have a peace in between storms, it's kind of a dark way of looking at it, but some storms are just light showers and some are batten down the hatches. We talk about that on this show often about the idea that when the storms really come, the goal is not to grow as a company ,he goal is to survive. Do what you need, pull the sales down so it doesn't break the mast and all that kind of stuff.


Michael:
              But what does it look like? And as we were talking and thinking and just saying, "Okay, this is an apropos time. Hopefully this is helpful for you and you're listening to this at a moment where you're like, I needed to hear that. I needed to be encouraged to move forward." We want to talk to you about what it looks like for your own grit and as a leader, for the grit of your team.


Michael:
              I use the word grit because perseverance, grit's a generic, one of those old school terms of, that person got grit. Are they going to stick to it, or they're going to stay with it or are they going to give up when times get hard? I don't know where that accent came. Anyway, so Angela Duckworth wrote a book a few years ago, and you may or may not have heard of her. You may or may not remember her.


Michael:
              She was a school teacher. She went on and studied with some of the most amazing people in the field of learning and development for adults and things like that. She studied from some of the recent founders, grandparents, I don't know, just like the men and women that were just groundbreaking in the 20th century. She did her doctorate and a few things like that. And she studied this whole idea of grit. The Power of Passion and Perseverance is her book. Really worthwhile.


Michael:
              She was on a TEDxs and speaking around the country a few years ago and stuff like that.


Kathryn:
               And we'll put her the name of her book in a link in the show notes. It's just very worth getting.


Michael:
              So for the sake of today's conversation, we're just going to jump in and go, okay, I like her table of contents. So we're going to just kind of look at her table of contents, understand it, and we're going to have some conversation about it. Her table of contents or her book is broken into three parts. Part one is what grit is and why it matters. Part two is growing grit from the inside out. What do you do to develop grit within yourself and help others develop it within themselves? And then part three, growing grit from the outside in. What are the things that you can do to help influence grit, strengthen grit, encourage grit, and those kinds of things.


Michael:
              So let's jump in and go, what is grit and why it matters? I think we've talked about why it matters so much. You've got to finish these projects. Because if you're going to survive in business, you somewhere believed and knew that it was going to be hard. No matter what your team is, whether you have two people or whether you have 200 people. You've got just moments where you're just exhausted. We work with a lot of CEOs. We work with a lot of leadership teams and we spend a percentage of our time as consultants and friends in a counseling fashion.


Kathryn:
               Yep.


Michael:
              Just listening. A coaching fashion in many ways, just coaching, listening. I had one of our clients, the other day walked in for his monthly coaching session and he had just lost his third largest account. Oh, and that account was being run by, he was starting to delegate and he had delegated one of the bigger accounts to one of his staff and they made two or three mistakes. And then one of his other account reps that he thought was really good and was great, was like, "This is stressing me out too much, and my husband is wealthy, I don't have to work. And he just said, "You don't have to work anymore, come home." So she quit.


Kathryn:
               Okay. So I don't know if you've ever done this as a leader, but it's like, you get coached and you're basically like, okay, you have to start delegating. You have to start moving things along. And then you do, and then you lose the person that you delegated to.


Michael:
              Okay. It's not done yet. His bad day got worse, because on top of it, basically their chief operating officer, younger person, but she is really bright, has been amazing. She's a powerhouse and a half, right? Pulls him and his wife cause they're partners in the company aside and says, "I'm pregnant, three months pregnant." And this is like, she's running the company. And now you're like, "Ah." He walks into our office just a mess. Frustrated, exhausted, discouraged.


Kathryn:
               He's facing a very steep climb on a bike. He thought he was on flat land for awhile.


Michael:
              I mean, it's crazy. Okay, so many of us when we say, "Oh, you're stressed. You have a hard time," they go, "It's not that bad." "Oh, it's okay." "Well, I'm fine." And then invariably, what happens in any coaching session, whether Kathryn and I are coaching or we're being coached because this happens to us too, about 10, 15, 20 minutes into it, it's like, "Yeah, that was really hard." Yeah, that is hard. And we started meeting how hard these things are and how much grit and perseverance they have.


Michael:
              So here's one of the things. Here's the five things that kind of, you need to know about grit, that are just really taken straight from her table of contents. The first thing is showing up. You just tell people, "Look, you just got to show up. Things will work way better and you'll gain way more ground if you just show up." When people get scared or I don't want to go in, or I don't want to do this anymore, that's where the failure starts to happen.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. And for me, when I get to this place as part of how I position that, and I don't know who says it or whatever, it's just the saying is, what is the next right thing? I just need to do the next right thing. Right? So I don't have to fix everything. I don't have to solve this mountain in front of me, but I do need to keep showing up and do the next right thing. Sometimes just putting... I suddenly have the put one foot in front of the other song from the old Christmas cartoon. Just put one foot in front of the other, and soon you'll be marching across the floor.


Kathryn:
               So that concept of not allowing yourself to stop, but just saying, you know what? I just need to do the next best thing, the next right thing to keep moving forward. So showing up is a big deal. Who was the coach who said 90% of success is showing up? Who says that?


Michael:
              Wooden.


Kathryn:
               Yeah, that guy. He's smart.


Michael:
              The most amazing basketball coach in history.


Kathryn:
               John?


Michael:
              John Wooden.


Kathryn:
               Yeah, I'm just not a basketball person.


Michael:
              I'm sure somebody might have a different opinion, but he's arguably the best. He's definitely-


Kathryn:
               Certainly one of the most quoted.


Michael:
              Yes, definitely.


Kathryn:
               Tom Landry. See, I know Tom Landry better, because I'm a football girl. But moving on. Okay.


Michael:
              Okay. Distracted by talent. There's a whole chapter, but let's just say for the most part, distracted by talent, you can get sucked into, Hey, I'm really good at this. It's easier. I'll go the easier path. And sometimes that's a good idea, but distractions happen. So you show up and then you have to deal with distractions. That's the second.


Michael:
              The third thing is effort counts twice.


Kathryn:
               Tell us about effort counts twice.


Michael:
              Well, it's an interesting concept and effort counts twice is just like the reality is, is there's a lot of things psychologically that'll happen when we apply effort. Because here's what happens so often, is we start to think and leaders do this because a lot of times leaders can process stuff in their head, which saves money and time, because you can work things out before you apply a lot of energy, a lot of resources and things like that. But going from the idea to the implementation, it's a big explosion of energy that has to happen. Expulsion of energy that has to happen.


Michael:
              And so when you oftentimes go, I'm going to abandon that idea before I even get to it. What happens is, a lot of times we want things to work quickly. We thought through it, now it's not that big a deal, why is this taking so long?


Kathryn:
               I don't know what you mean. Why is it so hard to do this? It shouldn't be hard. This looked easy at the beginning.


Michael:
              Ladies and gentlemen, this is our life right now. Okay, so here's one of the things that happens with effort. First of all, you actually start doing things that engage your neurons, your whole brain's going, your body's going, you're doing stuff. I think there's this layer of actually getting things in motion. Once you get things in motion, a lot of things can start to happen. The other thing we don't want to do is we don't want to optimize.


Michael:
              So this effort, applying effort continuously being that turtle and continuing to move forward and willing to play the effort, things actually start to snowball. They can snowball in a positive direction. We've all seen it. It doesn't happen every time. It doesn't always happen quick, but more often than not, things happen. So there's a lot of stuff that goes, look, effort is so valuable, just putting in the effort and time, because as we've heard it said, "You don't have to get it perfect-"


Kathryn:
               "You just have to get it going."


Michael:
              You just have to get it going. And it's amazing how often perfection stops people from getting going. Right?


Kathryn:
               Well, and it's something that I think you struggle with a little bit.


Michael:
              I struggle with it huge, not even a little bit.


Kathryn:
               So you're like, I need to have it like this, or I can't pull the trigger and I'm the opposite personality. I'm like, it's not ready, aim, fire. It's fire, ready, aim for me. It just kind of the way I'm put together. You know what? Let's just do it wrong and then fix it later. Just get her done. And you're like, "No, it has to be perfect." So somewhere in between us is the reality.


Michael:
              Here's the challenge. One of the challenges of it is, I am a quick start. If you look at my Colby, I'm a very quick start. I can start things super fast. I can be very, very, very impulsive. One of the reasons I don't do that is because I've learned over the years that being very, very impulsive can put you in places where it's, I was more impulsive than you are. And you're impulsive at times, but I would get myself in trouble. Partly because I didn't have enough wisdom to guide some of that impulsiveness, but I'd get myself into things where I'd spent money, time and energy, and it didn't go anywhere. Well, you learn from it. There's benefits you can pull from it, but at the same time, I want things to be a little bit more planned out now, because I'd like to make sure that go slow to go fast.


Kathryn:
               Yeah.


Michael:
              But again-


Kathryn:
               But sometimes you can go too slow because you're not actually pulling the trigger.


Michael:
              You don't start.


Kathryn:
               You don't start.


Michael:
              And yeah. So that's efforts count twice. How gritty are you trying to understand it? And then you can grow grit.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. And that's to say, you can grow grit. Okay, but you know what? A lot of people actually don't believe that some of these things can grow or that there's a tangible way to do it.


Michael:
              Well, it's very clear from all of the research and the surveys and everything else, most people don't believe you can grow grit. Most people don't believe you can, as an adult, once you're an adult, you can actually mature or grow. Most people don't believe that leaders can actually grow. You can put a plan, it's just kind of like, well, it is what it is. That's the way they were born. I can't do anything else about it.


Kathryn:
               Yeah, this is who I am. It's who I am. It's what I do.


Michael:
              Well, sometimes we believe that about ourselves-


Kathryn:
               You can't teach an old dog new tricks and all those sayings. Right?


Michael:
              I think we believe it about other people more than us.


Kathryn:
               That we believe they can grow?


Michael:
              No, I believe they can't grow more than others can.


Kathryn:
               Yeah, possibly


Michael:
              I can't get you to grow. Part of it is, remit this showing up, showing up means you want to. You kind of want to grow. You kind of want to do this stuff. You got to want to have perseverance and grit. Or that's part of the showing up is like, you gotta bring that to the table folks. You know it, we know it, but sometimes you got to look at yourself in the mirror and go, "Look, buddy, you got to grow up. This is where the rubber meets the road. This is where you become a leader." I said it to myself last night. I was at a meeting, working with a team, trying to get things done. It was hot, the air conditioner wasn't working in the building. I'm frustrated, I'm tired. There's people that aren't doing what they need to do and what they're doing they're screwing up and I'm taking a turn around this corner and where one of my staff at their posts.


Michael:
              I remember saying this to myself last night, "Okay, pep talk. This is where leaders, real leaders stand out. This is where you've got to stand up." I'm telling myself this because I'm like, I am failing miserably at that. I'm like, "Okay, fix your attitude. They're looking at you and paying attention to your attitude. They don't all know what's going on, deal with it."


Kathryn:
               Yeah.


Michael:
              You got to show up. You got to want to. Okay, let's talk about growing grip from the inside out. Four things, interest, practice, purpose, and hope. Interest, practice, purpose, and hope. Thoughts on interest. When you're growing grit from the inside out, what does that make you think of? Interest. Besides money.


Kathryn:
               That I'm interested. So I have not read this chapter. I'm just going to own that upfront. So I feel like I'm making it up.


Michael:
              This is a discussion.


Kathryn:
               But if I think of interest in growing grit from the inside out, it's how invested am I in what it is I'm trying to achieve? How deeply do I actually care about it? So if I am easily distracted or pulled off, or this isn't actually my calling, my passion, whatever, then it can be easy to lose interest when things get hard. So maintaining interest, I think is part of that.


Michael:
              She says in her book, "Follow your passion was not the message I heard growing up." So part of what is helpful with grit is if you're going to develop grit, make sure you're applying it to something that you're actually interested in.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. Well, and even the subtitle of our book, right? It's passion and perseverance, right? So in order to really grow in grit and to prove that out, aiming that at something that you deeply care about is a big deal or you're not going to make it through.


Michael:
              The third thing is purpose, right? So starting with interest and that whole idea of, okay, what do you care about? What are you interested in? Where are you going to go? Because you're going to need the fuel from that to do it. We tell people all the time, in the book and our staff, is we're trying to look and figure out what it is that's your gifts, talents and skills. We're trying to match that to the work that needs to get done. And when you're trying to look at that kind of stuff, you're going, okay, gifts, talents, and skills, what am I doing? Why? It's like swimming downstream as opposed to upstream. You still have to swim, but you're not swimming against the current. Even if you have a river, we live near a pretty good sized river and a lot of creeks here in Northern California. Even when the water's flat and it doesn't look like it's moving very far, it is amazing how much energy, even when you don't see the water moving, how much energy it is to swim upstream compared to swimming downstream.


Michael:
              And so that whole idea of, if you can find something that's interesting to you, you're naturally engaged. I was talking to somebody just the other day, I wish I could remember what the subject was. But they were basically saying this subject is really interesting to me, I don't mind doing this. One of our business partners, his love languages is Excel spreadsheets.


Kathryn:
               Yes. When he gets stressed, he's like, "I'm just going to spend some time in my love language." And he goes to his Excel spreadsheet to solve everything.


Michael:
              He just makes an Excel sheet.


Kathryn:
               It is not my love language.


Michael:
              I don't know if he told you this, right? He built an Excel spreadsheet for all of the greatest albums from 35 or 40 different lists, structured them, sorted them, organized them, so he could figure out five different ways to look at the greatest albums ever and then he's listening through to them. But they're all in his spreadsheet.


Kathryn:
               Mm-hmm (affirmative), see Excel during my free time would not be my definition of a good time.


Michael:
              This is him having fun. So but if you're going to need grit, first thing is, find something that you're interested in and move on. Practice is just, you have to keep coming back and we're not going to spend any time on this. This is pretty self-evident. You've got to continue to stop and learn. I was thinking this morning about coaching. One of the reasons coaching is so powerful in leadership development and in most things is because it's a regular check-in and discussion on the things that matter. You're actually applying conscious thought and discussion and everything else on what's going on? How am I developing? What went right? What went wrong? And when you apply that over time on a regular practice that is going to generate some of the most growth and consistency you can get.


Michael:
              Purpose is the next one. We talk about it all the time, it's in the title of our book.


Kathryn:
               Profit, Purpose, and Legacy.


Michael:
              Having a purpose in life has been shown so much for research to like go, okay, if I have purpose, I'm way more engaged. If I have purpose, I can drive through doing so much more. The story about filling sandbags, two guys filling sandbags. And it's just a boring, boring job. One bag after the other, after the other. And the one is just thinks, and the first one says, "I'm just filling sandbags." The second one goes, "There's a flood coming, and we're trying to protect our city and save our city." The same exact labor that nobody wants to do, but I have a whole lot of perseverance when I have a really good purpose.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. So when my back starts aching and I don't want to pick up the shovel anymore, and I don't want to do that next wrap of whatever it is that I have to be doing to keep this moving forward, having that purpose gives me the drive and the energy and the grit to push through the pain, to push through the hard part.


Michael:
              We have to keep reminding ourselves. It is what will cause you to run into a burning building.


Kathryn:
               Somebody you love in that building. Yeah.


Michael:
              So you have purposes, care-


Kathryn:
               Or a puppy.


Michael:
              Hopefully you love the puppy.


Kathryn:
               Even if I don't love the puppy, I'm still rescuing it. Just saying.


Michael:
              I'm taking the fifth. Okay. And then there's hope.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. So when I think of hope and this is growing from the inside out, part of what I think about is we tell ourselves stories and when things get discouraging, when we get afraid, we tell ourselves stories of things that haven't happened yet. And what needs to be happening in those moments is we need to be able to remind ourselves of things that have happened that show that we're going to be able to push through this.


Michael:
              So, I'll elaborate a little bit more, because I'm excited about what you're saying, but-


Kathryn:
               You not bought in yet.


Michael:
              Well, no. I'm thinking you got a couple of different things. I'm thinking about let me say this, the stories you're selling, we tell ourselves. We tell ourselves either version A or version B. Version B is full of distraction. Version A is full of success.


Kathryn:
               Yes.


Michael:
              If we believe version A, we have a much greater chance of sticking to it because we have hope that tomorrow will be better than today.


Kathryn:
               Right. And the reason we have hope and I think part of the reason we can choose that and we can tell ourselves version A, is if we remind ourselves of all the places where, what would get us version A have actually already happened in our lives.


Michael:
              What do you say when all those people would say hope's not a strategy, so they just kind of want to strike it from the lexicon?


Kathryn:
               I say, you're wrong.


Michael:
              Why?


Kathryn:
               Because without hope, without a belief that tomorrow can be better than today, without that somehow driving some of the actions, there's no hope.


Michael:
              Well, do you think that when they say hope is not a strategy that there's any thread of truth in what they're saying?


Kathryn:
               If all you have is hope, but there's no action tied to it, if you're not doing anything, but you're just sitting at home hoping you get rich, well then yeah, that's a problem. Hope is not a strategy.


Michael:
              What if you're going to work and you're doing the work but you're just hoping things are going to be different?


Kathryn:
               Well, how much do you have control over that? I mean-


Michael:
              Well, here's where I think the reason I'm harping on this is because I've been an anti the hope is not a strategy. I think it's the stupidest statement in the world. But because the automatic so often is to eliminate hope completely from the lexicon. But I think sometimes it goes to what you're saying, I think. If I'm working at work and I'm hoping that more customers come in, but I don't do the marketing, well then just hoping that they're going to come in isn't a good enough strategy. But hope fits in the place where, if I know this is good, I can have hope if I'm doing the marketing and doing the right things, I can have hope that there's a much better chance that things are going to be different.


Kathryn:
               Yeah.


Michael:
              But we have to be able to believe that there's going to be a change in our behavior or a change in our circumstances if we move forward. Having that is the last key element here in growing grit on the inside.


Kathryn:
               Well, and we talk about it when we talk about why would you develop a clear, complete, compelling vision? Part of that is like the story you get to develop when you're creating a really good vision, the key elements that are going to keep you driving forward, like your big goals, right? The reason that you're doing this thing, the reason you started this thing. And sometimes it is as simple as remembering why you're doing it and reminding yourself that allows that hope to rise in you again. So I think the stories we tell ourselves are really big when it comes to developing grit.


Michael:
              That's good. So that's what you're doing on the inside. You've got to have this grit. This is important. Now I told you there was a third chapter or a third section, growing grit from the outside in. And basically here's what happens in that section. You're talking about issues, separate topics, parenting for grit. So you want to make sure that you're pouring into your kids, your grandkids, so that they're developing grit. They've got to learn those habits. If we learn grit early on in life, we are way better off, I think. I had certain moments where I was not being taught grit as a younger person, as a kid, and in certain circumstances, I was definitely being taught grit and the value of some of those things. But giving up seemed like more of an option when I was younger.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. And I think the more that we train our kids, like when you make a commitment to do something, even when it gets painful, you need to follow through. The place I remember learning that lesson for me, I was in fifth grade, fourth grade-


Michael:
              Are we going to the Grand Canyon?


Kathryn:
               No.


Michael:
              Okay.


Kathryn:
               I was in fourth grade and I was in a classroom that was taught by two male teachers, Mr. Page and Mr. McKesson. And I had my first boyfriend and his name was Michael.


Michael:
              Oh, I remember this story.


Kathryn:
               And Michael and I wanted to sit next to each other. So the way that this classroom was-


Michael:
              At least his name was Michael.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. They would move us around.


Michael:
              First and last.


Kathryn:
               I know. Started with a Michael and ended with a Michael.


Michael:
              Okay.


Kathryn:
               So they would move us around and you ended up sort of partnered with one person and you would sit with that person.


Michael:
              Pardon me for interrupting. But the person right now who just said, how do you know that you're the last? You just shut up.


Kathryn:
               Fair enough. So Mike and I wanted to sit next to each other. I remember my teacher, Mr. McKesson, saying, "Okay, I'm going to let you have this. But if you guys break up," master teacher and I'm thinking. that's never going to happen, "Just know that I'm not going to move you." And I was like, "It's going to be fine. It's going to be fine. It's going to be fine." Well, you know what? It wasn't fine. We broke up, and he was mean. I mean, he was mean to me. I was a really good student and he would do things like we're supposed to share a book and we would have a time test and he would hide the stuff that I was supposed to be doing. I mean, it was bad.


Michael:
              This is a sign of impetuous behavior that got you in trouble. This is what I'm trying to protect you from.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. And I don't know how long that Mr. McKesson let me suffer, but it felt like an eternity. And I remember just finally being outside and just crying, "I can't take it any more." And he was like, "What have we learned?" So the first time I learned that sometimes you have to be forced to have grit, he pushed me and it was tough.


Michael:
              What did you learn? Never sit next to your boyfriend again?


Kathryn:
               Never sat next to my boyfriend again.


Michael:
              All right. That's why her office is on the other side of the building. Okay. All right. Those are the things. So when we're talking about parenting for grit, helping people around us have grit, she talks about the playing fields of grit. Different areas and arenas that you can exercise grit. Get it? Playing, exercising, fields. The culture of grit, you want to embed this in your life. You want to embed this in your company. When you're thinking about culture, it's one of our six core areas that we look at in any business is the culture.


Michael:
              As a leader, you're responsible for that. You're the chief culture officer. You have to. And so if you reinforce it, because if people are committed to grit at some level, and your culture says we value grit, and they're working on these interests, practice, purpose, and hope, and you're even helping them work on how do you put them in jobs that are interesting and give them practice, purpose, and hope, and those kinds of things there, you have some control over that as a leader in a company. Then you can also create this culture that reinforces it.


Michael:
              As we were prepping for today's podcast, I was thinking about lamination.


Kathryn:
               As you do.


Michael:
              As I do.


Kathryn:
               Because why wouldn't you be thinking about lamination?


Michael:
              Lamination. And some people totally know where I'm going right now. But okay, so do you know what lamination is?


Kathryn:
               I'm assuming-


Michael:
              Not lamentations.


Kathryn:
               No, when we laminate a card.


Michael:
              Yes.


Kathryn:
               When we plastic and heat and you push it together and my driver's license is laminated and my alien ID card is.


Michael:
              So at a very basic level, what's happening is you have a piece of paper, a layer of paper, a layer of plastic on top, and a layer of plastic on the bottom, and you're compressing those into one piece.


Kathryn:
               Yes.


Michael:
              Okay, now would they do that in the building industry and we create basically laminated boards that act as beams and they're very, very, very, very strong? So what you're doing is you're gluing stuff. So if I were to take a two by 10 for a floor joist, that'd be a big ceiling joist, and I try and extend it and I measure how much weight it can hold, it'll snap at a certain point, right? It'll bow or break. If I take a second one and I glue them together and then screw them together, then I will actually have two boards that create more strength than each of them individually added together. It's a synergistic effect.


Michael:
              When we're doing this, when we're talking about adding all these pieces and you say, "Okay, somebody is interested in grit, they're working on grit on the inside and I've created a culture of grit and I've given them opportunity and encouraging them in grit." It's like-


Kathryn:
               Lamination.


Michael:
              Lamination. It's that you're putting a layer on a layer and as those two layers come together, the person's interest along with the culture and environment, and especially as a leader, you are going to actually be like that splint that's on a leg that gives it so much more strength. And until it strengthens enough on its own, that you can at some level pull away the structure. Now in culture, you want to continue to have that culture because that kind of culture produces health on a regular basis, as opposed to degrading it. But if you can do that, that is super powerful when you're trying to encourage your people for leadership.


Michael:
              And then to start just asking yourself the question on a regular basis, "Wow, how do I do that?" Because here's what the benefit. If your team members have grit, they actually problem solve better. They actually work with each other. They have more sticktuitiveness and you don't need to babysit them nearly as much. You're going to have more problem solved in your office or in your company without you, because you've taught them that grit. And what is arguably the most expensive cost of businesses in America is turnover. The cost of losing an employee, the cost of going through hiring process, the cost of retraining them and getting them up to speed and everything else. The loss costs, the invested cost, the trough of sorrow that you have to go through, any of that is, if somebody has more grit, they also won't bail when things get tough. And invariably in any job, it gets tough.


Michael:
              These are powerful tools that we're talking about, what grit is, why it matters growing grit from the inside out, and then growing grit from the outside in and helping support it.


Kathryn:
               That's good.


Michael:
              And it's real important for us today because we're in another season and we managed to get out of seasons and then we put ourselves in, because we want to grow more. Like, "Okay, well we've accomplished that, what can we do next?" It's not a storm, it's just we set out on another journey and we want to conquer another mountain. And we believe part of our contribution is in that. Just sitting around would be a waste of our gifts and our skills and our talents. So we're not ready for that yet. We're not ready to retire to the back 40.


Kathryn:
               Not quite.


Michael:
              If it's green, maybe I'd go for a while and visit in the back 40. But anyway, as we go forward, she's giving me the move forward motion. Hopefully this is helpful today. I mean, if nothing else just to have the discussion is really valuable and to listen to the discussion and hopefully your thoughts will be geared in this direction. You'll be kind of turning the wheels. Think about and start asking the question, how's your grit? How's the grit of your leadership team around you? How's the grit of your family, how's the grit of your employees? And what can you do to both continue to grow your own grit?


Michael:
              If you have a company, if you're a leader of a small and medium sized business, you already have a lot of grit. But as we know from leadership coaching and leadership development, that as you grow, you have to take on larger projects. Because that's what your growing for. You're growing to have more impact. That's one of your goals in life is to have more impact in a positive light in the world around you. So it's going to get more complicated. It's going to get more stressful and you're going to have to acquire grit.


Michael:
              A lot of leaders burnout at this certain level. They hit a place where they've gone, "I've been amazing. I've done all these great things and now, Oh crap." And the Peter principle is where that comes from. Is they Petered out at this place where they become less effective and what was their strengths became their liabilities, and they need grit to get through that. They need grit to grow.


Kathryn:
               Yep. Yep.


Michael:
              Any other thoughts?


Kathryn:
               Now, I just want to, just to land again on, there's so much power in the stories that you tell yourself and in the stories that you tell your staff. So as it comes to grit, finding those stories that remind you of times when you actually face something and conquered it, right? The recession that you made it through, when you didn't think you were going to. The problem that you solved, that you didn't think would happen. The client that got resolved that you thought, "Oh my gosh, they are never going to be happy." I mean, so finding those and reminding, and it's part of why celebrating in a culture matters so much. Is that you mark those moments and you remember them.


Michael:
              Absolutely.


Kathryn:
               So just remember the power of your stories as you work on developing grit and perseverance. And we're thankful that you listen and that you're here all the way to the end, if you're hearing my voice.


Michael:
              If you're interested at all, we'd love it if you would subscribe to the channel or podcast or share it with friends, tell somebody about this. Our goal is to reach 10,000 people to really encourage them, give them hope, and give them some really practical tips and skills that they can use to continue to move forward and grow as leaders and make an impact in their company and in their community.


Michael:
              And if you want any more information about this show or any other show, you can go to halfabubbleout.com or HaBO Village, halfabubbleout.com or HaBOvillage.com, and we would be glad to share the show notes, any links we have. We'll have a link to the book Grit in there, and we hope you have a great week. I'm Michael Redman.


Kathryn:
               And I'm Kathryn Redman.


Michael:
              Thanks a lot. Take care. Bye-bye.