The journey from the bottom to the top requires grit, determination and perseverance. Having the right ‘pit crew’ around to keep you mentally tough is key.
It can be a lonely journey climbing the ladder of success. Naysayers may appear out of the woodwork, dream stealers attempt to shatter dreams, saboteurs squash plans and conversations may encourage you to do less, to be less, to learn less.
Whether in a corporate environment or your own entrepreneurial enterprise, the journey from the bottom to the top requires grit, determination and perseverance. As leaders you have to face fears, make tough decisions, push past failures, recalibrate plans, and manage focus all while being open to the opportunity that potentially exists outside the perimeter of your comfort zone. Having the right ‘pit crew’ around to keep you mentally tough is key.
Your pit crew keep you true and on track. They nurture you; ensure you are okay at all times and that your emotions aren’t getting the better of you. They keep you connected with the present as much as with your future dreams. Like a Formula One pit stop, your crew can make or break a race. They fuel your resilience, polish your tough exterior and keep you match-fit for survival and success. When the white flag is waved, you need to dig deep and find the determination to keep going. You need to remain strong and focused on your vision in the face of any challenges or slips along the way.
In her 2007 report ‘Grit: Perseverance and Passion for Long-Term Goals’, American psychologist Angela Duckworth shares the story of cadets who join the US military academy at West Point and are put through their paces in the Beast Barracks initiative program. This program tests their physical, emotional and mental strength. Surprisingly, Duckworth found that it wasn’t strength, smarts or leadership potential that defined success. Rather, it was the individual’s grit, perseverance, determination and mental toughness.
Your pit crew feeds your resilience and belief in your goals. They may not share the spotlight with you, but they are absolutely riding shotgun alongside you. They go that extra mile, they look out for you mentally, physically and spiritually – because they care about you. They understand your dreams, goals and aspirations, and they encourage you to move forward while at the same time being very aware of where you are right now and what you have to focus on and deliver in the present. Your pit crew celebrate your wins, remind you of your achievements and keep it real.
Richard Branson said, “No one is successful alone.” Building a network for personal growth in the 21st century hinges on having the right people around you, and openly sharing knowledge and insights with individuals who understand, at a deeper level, your goals and aspirations.
Spend time with ‘cup half empty’ thinkers and you’ll feel low and de-energised.
Spend time with individuals who dream big and see the cup not just as half full but as overflowing, and you’ll believe anything is possible. Make sure your ‘pit crew’ is right there beside you supporting you all the way to the finish line.