5 Things You Need to Understand About Grit

How To Become a More Productive and Fulfilled Person by Cultivating Passion and Perseverance

Michael_Phelps_grit_the_power_of_passion_and_perseverance_best_business_books

Since the 2016 Summer Olympics are just a few weeks away, let me ask you: Do you think those supremely talented athletes, especially the ones who will bring home a medal, are there because of their talent, or their incredible passion and perseverance?

The conventional wisdom says that talent is supreme. And for a long time, that sort of made sense—that genetics matter. How could they not?

Just take a look at Michael Phelps’ physique, for example.

Redefining “Genius” and What it Takes to Succeed

Why Everyone Committed to Success Should Read Angela Duckworth's New Book: Grit—The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Best Business Book Angela Duckworth Grit The Power of Passion and Perseverance

In Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, researcher Angela Duckworth makes a thoroughly persuasive argument that the difference between average folks and elite performers—people who succeed at the highest level of their chosen field—is not what we think it is.

Reading Business Books for Fun and Profit?

7 Reasons Why You Should Make Room for Business Books on Your Nightstand Today!

A Game of Thrones 2

I know.

They’re not as much fun as the likes of Harry Potter, or even Fifty Shades of Grey but business and self-development books can help you get in ways A Game of Thrones never could.

Yes—being swept away into a fantasy world makes for a frolicking good time, but gaining access to the latest thinking about the challenges we face in our own realm can be just as rewarding, IF you give it a chance.

Book Recommendation: Humans Are Underrated

How To Stay Competitive in the New Automated World of Work

Humans Are Underrated - Best Business Book Club

When you get to the end of Humans Are Underrated: What High Achievers Know that Brilliant Machines Never Will, you realize just how great a public service Geoff Colvin has rendered to us. Tremendously well-researched and crisply written, the book is a friendly, far-sighted and reassuring primer on how your work may be transformed by “infotech” and what you can start doing about it.

If you want to understand how the job market is about to change, what skills will be in high demand, and how you can stay competitive—this is a tome you can’t afford to ignore.

The World of Work and How We Earn a Living is About to Change

5 Things You Should be Doing to Compete in the 4th Industrial Revolution

The Fourth Industrial Revolution - Best Business Book Club

Recently, I’ve been writing a lot about robots and computers, and how they’re taking over jobs at a crazy rate, but I’m not trying to make the point that the future of work is a tale of Man vs. Machine. Instead, I think it may be a story of great scarcity and hardship, amidst remarkable abundance and opportunity. More importantly, I’m arguing that how that story unfolds is up to us. We have a choice in the matter.

I think that in the future, abundance will live where it always has, at the very top, but it will also be found in the frontier and border towns of innovation, where gifted and creative risk-takers feel at home.

The great middle—once a lush and welcoming paradise of opportunity for those who played by the rules—will become a no-man’s land, a vast desert of broken dreams and broken promises.

More and more, we see that the rules change so quickly that there might as well be no rules. In such an environment, excessive waiting, trying to fit in, or dancing to someone else’s drumbeat, is a mistake. Not taking (calculated) risks is no longer safe—that’s actually the riskiest bet in town!

Those who choose to stay in the middle, because that’s what they’ve always done, or because that’s what they’ve always been told to do, will be caught in a vicious race to the bottom.

I don’t want that to happen to you.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is about to change everything you think you know about work and how to earn a living. And the revolution has already begun, though lots of people still don’t see it.

But we do, and it’s time to start thinking and doing things differently.

Here are the 5 critical things we should be doing to get ready and stay competitive:

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is Underway, Are You Ready?

5 Key Insights from Klaus Schwab's Book You Can't Afford to Ignore

photo courtesy of Web Tomorrow

The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab is a book that everyone should take some time to review because it lays out a comprehensively sober assessment of the momentous changes already underway—changes that will forever alter the way we live and work.

As you look through the catalogue of evidence presented in the book, you’ll notice that there are reasons to be both highly optimistic and deeply pessimistic about what’s about to happen.

Like a Polaroid instant print, an image of the implications is emerging but that image is not perfectly clear, at least not yet.

We need to pay attention.

And whatever your own interpretation of the known facts may be, it is clear to Schwab, as it is to most economists who are peering further down the road than most, that humanity needs to buckle its collective seat belt. We’re in for a massive dose of unprecedented change.

Millions of people in the U.S. and around the world will be affected and, according to informed estimates, as many as half of all current jobs will be automated in the next 10 to 15 years. And as with all the technological tsunamis of the past, there will be winners and losers.

The winners, of course, will be those who understand that great change is coming and get ready, not just to tolerate the transition, but to help drive it! Not to survive, but to thrive! The losers will be those who ignore the warning signs, fail to understand the drivers of change, and do little more than bemoan the unfairness and injustice of the upheaval once it finally arrives at their doorstep.

In times of powerful change, the last thing you need to do is fight to hang on to the status quo. Instead, focus on your own sphere of influence—what can YOU do, where you stand, with what you’ve got, right now?

To quote Mr. Schwab: “There has never been a time of greater promise or greater peril.”

The question is, what are you going to do about it?

But before we can answer that, we need to further understand what’s happening:

Key Aspects of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

What is the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Why it Matters to Workers

Understanding the historical context is the first step

autonomous vehicle

Every January, some of the most powerful and influential leaders in the world descend upon the Alpine resort town of Davos, Switzerland, not to ski the steep, powdery slopes, but to discuss the most urgent, challenging and important issues facing the world today.

In 2016, this World Economic Forum, as it’s called, managed to do something which I think is remarkable—they gave a formal name to the monumental scientific, technological and work-life upheaval that we’re all experiencing now, and which has only begun to disrupt our lives.

They call it The Fourth Industrial Revolution.

And the conclusions they’ve reached remind me of Joe Pantoliano’s character “Cypher” in the movie, The Matrix, when he says:

Success Depends on What You Do, Not Talent

Here are 9 Things Successful People Do Differently

Runners

Whether you choose to define success in broad terms (i.e. “success in life”) or in more specific contextual terms (e.g. success in completing a project or achieving a goal) it is helpful to understand what behaviors or course of action can improve your chances of reaching the level of success you desire.

Endless volumes have been written about this ever-pressing question—How can I achieve success? But few manage to be as straightforward, accessible and concise as Heidi Halvorson’s, 9 Things Successful People Do Differently.

In only 112 short pages, Halvorson, a motivational psychologist, manages to lay out 9 actionable ideas gleaned from the scientific literature of success. After having scoured decades of research, she gives us the strategies that successful people use to catapult their performance far above the average. “In the end,” she states, “not only will you have gained some insight into all the things you have been doing right all along, but you’ll be able to identify the mistakes that have derailed you. More importantly, you’ll be able to use that knowledge to your advantage from now on.”

This book is a fantastic little manual, which I encourage you to read.

Personally, I’ve taken Halvorson’s framework and arranged it into 3 essential prescriptions: (1) “Be a Realistic Optmist” (2) Get Super-Specific and (3) Focus on Continuous Improvement

Here’s a brief description of each:

What Wildly Important Goal Are You Trying to Achieve?

The 4 Disciplines of Execution Keep You Focused On What Matters

The 4 Disciplines of Execution—Best business books

I read a lot of books each year and I usually learn something from all of them, but only a select few make it into what I call my Success Library—books so powerful that they deeply inform my ideas about how to be successful in work and in life. The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey and Jim Huling is one such book.

Do you have a personal or professional goal (or two) that you would desperately like to achieve? Something that you’re done talking about; done dreaming about; done making excuses about; something that you’re committed to turning into reality as quickly as possible?

Maybe you want to take that trip to Europe, lose 20 lbs, make the President’s Club, start a business or write that book?!

Or maybe you’re the manager or leader of a team that’s underperforming and it’s your job to help them get back on track?

If so, this book has many of the answers you’re looking for.

Of course, if you want to really master the 4 disciplines, you’ll have to buy the book, read it and practice it. It’s full of real world examples of how organizations have applied this methodology and achieved great results.

Today, I just want to briefly review what each of these disciplines entails, along with some key takeaways…