December 2022

December 2022

I signed up for an account, and typed in a question.

“Why are grit and resilience important to our success?”

ChatGPT did remarkably well.

“Alas, poor Yorik! I knew him, Horatio….”


“Grit and resilience are important because they are what allows us to persevere and succeed in the face of adversity. Grit is the willingness to keep working hard and pushing forward, even when things are difficult. Resilience is the ability to bounce back from setbacks and failures. Together, these qualities can help us overcome obstacles and achieve our goals. These qualities are essential for achieving success in any field, as they enable us to overcome obstacles and keep pushing forward, even when the going gets tough.”

Next, I asked ChatGPT how we improve our grit and resilience— and I’m happy to report (understand there is no guarantee on the validity of answers of ChatGPT, but here it did extremely well):

“There are several ways to improve grit and resilience, including:

  1. Setting specific, challenging goals that motivate and inspire you to keep pushing forward.

  2. Developing a growth mindset and embracing the idea that you can learn and grow from your failures and setbacks.

  3. Building a strong support system of friends, family, and mentors who can provide encouragement and support during challenging times.

  4. Practicing mindfulness and being present in the moment, which can help to reduce stress and improve mental and emotional well-being.

  5. Engaging in regular physical activity, which can help to boost mood, improve self-confidence, and enhance overall well-being.

  6. Focusing on the process, rather than the outcome, and celebrating small victories and progress along the way.

  7. Embracing a positive attitude and staying optimistic, even when things are tough.

  8. Learning from your experiences and using them as opportunities for growth and development.

By practicing these strategies, you can improve your grit and resilience and become more successful in achieving your goals.”

Wow. Excellent advice. Relative to the Grit Triad, ChatGPT did very well on the specifics.

Interestingly, what it missed are the parts that make us truly human. AI is not human. It will not get this right—those pieces that are less quantifiable (but still critical— and trainable). The base of the triad. The place we need to return again and again for reconnection. The part that makes us who we are.

Leadership is first and foremost about people— and requires our humanity.

If you’ve been following along for a while, you know the Grit Triad is born from the interviews I did over years of research for The Grit Factor along with the supporting research. It is the triad that follows the outline of the book: COMMIT, LEARN and LAUNCH, corresponding with owning (and understanding the plasticity of) our pasts, deeply engaging in the present, and moving toward the future with this grounding and engagement.

This COMMIT phase is so critical, it is the foundation of grit and resilience (we will offer this component of Going for Grit soon as a stand alone course).

Your story and your personal core purpose, that which connects to soul and mind and spirit, are not things that AI will ever own, even if differences will start to narrow or become more difficult to discern.

What ChatGPT tells me is not only how technology progressing at light speed, but also how important it is to treasure, develop and maintain that which makes us truly human. If leadership is all about people, and it is, then we cannot blithely allow this to fall away.

AI is already revealing visually the prejudices and mindsets of its creators —who are, after all, flawed humans. Perhaps there are ways through this as well. but it is a reminder that an AI that is created by humans will have the foibles of humans, just faster and differently complex.

(This week’s episode of Facing the Wind discusses those prejudices and why they matter with diversity consultant Ruchika Tulshyan).

With all that is happening in technology, we all must remember that technology is a tool, and it’s our humanity that makes us leaders.

Bring on the Shakespeare— the real one.



PS: For your holiday reading, order a copy of my friend and business school classmate Patrick Asare’s book The Boy from Boadua— his story from a mud hut in Ghana to where he is today, with many unexpected twists and turns, is truly extraordinary. Talk about GRIT in every sense of the word. Stay tuned— he’ll join the podcast this winter!

The Grit Factor Book by Shannon Huffman Polson


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The Grit Factor:
Courage, Resilience, and Leadership in the Most Male-Dominated Organization in the World