Do You Have Grit?

By Jennifer Maul
August 28, 2013

Grit.  I love this word.

Last year, I attended a presentation by Paul Tough, who was speaking on his research written about in How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character.  I was interested because I have a young daughter, and I am often thinking about what I need to do as a parent to make sure she is prepared for our big world.  I am confident that what I did to prepare for life is much different for kids today – our world was much smaller back then.  The same path I took may not work for my child, and I want to make sure I am aware and educated about this.

Paul’s talk was intriguing, and he spoke of skills like perseverance, curiosity, conscientiousness, optimism, grit, and self-control.  I got the optimism angle covered for her – she cannot help but pick up that from me!  But, what about ensuring she gets engaged in activities that teach perseverance and self-control?  What about experiences for conscientiousness and curiosity?  As Paul wrapped up the talk, he spoke of grit.  I love that word and always have since I tried to sell a newspaper called Grit when I was 10 years old.  I failed miserably selling this paper in my small town, and that experience taught me about being persistent as I knocked on doors, about being optimistic as I tried to hold my head up high after an “I’m not interested” response, and about being curious in just trying to sell something and make some money.  So, in the span of an hour, my mind was reeling – what was I doing as a parent to teach my kid about grit, what was I doing with my sales team to ensure optimism was a constant in our sales culture, what I was doing with our customer base to ensure they remained curious about the new things Vendavo is doing with our solution, and how I was I challenging myself along these same dimensions?  My mind was reeling.

So, it’s been a year since that talk, and my daughter just finished her first year in competitive gymnastics, a sport all about perseverance and self-control.  I’ve previously blogged about the optimism Vendavo has built in the B2B pricing space – we founded the space 12 years ago, we continue to lead the space, and our sales force has never been busier.  With our customer base, we’ve taken our solution to new divisions and geographies, and more so, we rolled out Vendavo Sales Negotiator, the first B2B Pricing iPad application for sales forces, and even more recently gained unprecedented traction with Vendavo Profit Analyzer on HANA.

These are all great things.  When you think about the word grit, what comes to mind?  Merriam-Webster defines grit as “firmness of mind or spirit.”  I am certain we can all think of ways that grit can help us in our daily jobs as pricers, sellers, developers, marketers, managers, and leaders.  Do you have grit?

  • B2B space , character , grit , optimism , pricing

    Jennifer Maul

    Jennifer holds Bachelor of Science degrees, magna cum laude, in Business Management and Management Information Systems from the University of Maryland. Follow her on Twitter: @jmaul_svp