Choose your battles: How grit can make and break your career

Passion is an integral part of any great leader. It is what inspires others and often, ensures an organization's success. However, finding that right amount of grit to inspire, rather than alienate your colleagues, may be difficult to achieve, according to The Wall Street Journal.

With nearly eight million views, Angela Duckworth's, PhD, TED talk delves into why grit is essential as striving for long-term goals is a better predictor for success than talent or intelligence. Russell Reynolds Associates conducted several in-depth assessments, which found gritty executives have a greater likelihood for a promotion, and CEOs often possess higher level of grits than other executives.

However, when does grit become too much?

Many gritty executives do not choose the right battles, unaware of when to throw in the towel. Mary Herrmann, managing director of executive coaching for BPI Group, a global consultancy, estimates nearly 35 percent of BPI's coaching assignments involve grit. Further, many of these executives exude too much grit, which gets in their way of obtaining bonuses or other incentives.

There is a fine line between being passionate and overbearing, and executives risk alienating their coworkers when they keep pushing toward an unattainable goal. One healthcare executive worked tirelessly to revamp their organization. However, her colleagues were not sold on the direction she wanted to take the company, leading to a discontent, disharmonious work environment.

There is not one hard-fast solution for how gritty is too gritty. One expert sourced in the article advised super gritty executives to obtain honest feedback from business acquaintances, coworkers, mentors and loved ones. However, Robin Koval, co-author of "Grit to Great," countered resiliency is crucial, and only the truly gritty executives will succeed because of their grittiness.

Andrew Weinreich understands grit's importance, but advised against fighting a uphill battle. Prior to launching a business, Mr. Weinrech asks critics to challenge his central assumptions. He often changes the direction of his companies several times.

"You have to figure out when to pivot," Mr. Weinrich said. "You're not a genius for persevering against all costs for a failed vision."

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