A Legendary Lesson In Resilience


What baseball’s hardest player can train company leaders about goal and perseverance.

You do not get the nickname the “Iron Horse” for very little. 

That is what they named Lou Gehrig, the famed Major League Baseball star who played for the New York Yankees from 1923 to 1939. And, boy, did he receive it—most famously for location a jaw-dropping file of 2,130 consecutive video games played.

Head you, this was before air travel or air conditioning, back when they slogged through 154 games a period, traveling by coach and staying in hot, sticky hotels along the way. 

Probably the most putting indicator of Gehrig’s famous endurance was this: X-rays taken of his arms at the stop of his career uncovered he experienced broken just about every finger of the two palms (some of them twice) alongside with 17 healed fractures. And he hardly ever. Skipped. A. Sport. 

Now if that isn’t genuine grit, I never know what is.

Grit and resilience has been on the minds of enterprise leaders, specially in the light of pandemic-primarily based disruption. So, how can modern companies infuse a bit of that “Iron Horse ethos” into their company society? 

Objective and ambitions

Angela Duckworth is popular for her trailblazing investigation into grit and how to get it. Her reserve Grit: The Ability of Passion and Perseverance was born from the investigate she did right after a stint as a seventh-grade math trainer in which she recognized that good results and smarts weren’t usually aligned. It was perseverance, not only IQ, that established learners on the route to success.

Duckworth’s definition of grit can be boiled down to the passionate and persistent pursuit of a intention, regardless of reward or recognition. In other words and phrases: You need to have to pursue a intent even larger than tomorrow’s get, and it has to information your endeavours whether or not any individual else is observing.

[Join a live fireside chat featuring Angela Duckworth speaking on grit and business resilience. Sign up and log on July 13 at 11am EST / 8am PST.] 

This tracks immediately to a person of Gehrig’s quotes: “I am not a headline guy. I know that as very long as I was next (Babe) Ruth to the plate I could have stood on my head and no just one would have regarded the variance.” He was not there for the glory—he was in no way likely to be a razzler-dazzler like Ruth. He was there for the recreation he cherished (his function) and he was dedicated to his video game streak (his target). 

There is a lesson there for business enterprise leaders: If you can rally your team all over a purpose and give them pursuable objectives, you can generate a culture of sustainable stick-to-itiveness.

The luckiest man 

As founder and CEO of Character Lab, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing scientific insights that assistance young ones prosper, Duckworth also experiments the significance of gratitude and the strength of heart it cultivates. 

When I imagine of gratitude, I just can’t assistance but assume of Gehrig’s well known speech specified on July 4, 1939. A working day was designed in his honor as his health and fitness took a precipitous dive (maybe due to ALS, also recognised as Lou Gehrig’s illness, even though emerging investigate implies the perpetrator might have been the head trauma he suffered from the many balls he took to the head for the duration of his occupation).

Standing on residence plate in Yankee Stadium, surrounded by countless numbers of fans and the baseball gamers he beloved, he commenced to converse: “For the earlier two weeks you have been looking through about a bad crack. But right now I take into account myself the luckiest gentleman on the confront of the earth.”

His extraordinary decline in wellbeing experienced left him weak, not able to play the activity he cherished. He was much less than two decades away from his premature demise at the age of 37. And yet, he chose gratitude. 

This gratitude was crucial to his technique to baseball throughout his profession, an integral ingredient of his famous grit. Contemplate this quote and you will see how the male embodied resilience lengthy in advance of the “embrace failure” motion took hold:

“I really like to win but I adore to shed pretty much as significantly. I like the thrill of victory, and I also adore the challenge of defeat.”

The up coming time you’re confronted with a big business enterprise challenge, consider a minute to request: WWLD, or What Would Lou Do? By taking inspiration from the grit and gratitude of this iconic baseball legend, you just might cultivate the resilience your business wants to navigate the inevitable slings and arrows of ongoing disruption.

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