How Too Much Grit Can Derail Your Leadership Success

“Grit” is defined as passion and perseverance towards long-term goals, and it is considered a crucial ingredient for success. Research by Angela Duckworth, a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, has found that grit is a better predictor of success than talent or intelligence. However, I have found that some leaders may be too gritty, and it is costing them in their leadership success.

As a leadership executive coach, I have seen too much grit causing derailment in leadership in the following ways:

Burnout: When leaders are too gritty, they may be at risk of burning out. This can happen when they don’t know when to give up and keep trying to win losing battles, even when their persistence is costing them in terms of their well-being. Therefore, leaders should learn to recognize the signs of burnout and take appropriate steps to prevent it, such as setting boundaries, delegating tasks, and taking regular breaks.

Clouded judgment: Excessive grit can also cloud a leader’s judgment. When leaders are so wrapped up in their determination to succeed, they may lose sight of the bigger picture and make decisions that are not in the best interest of the company or their team. Therefore, leaders should seek out different perspectives and input from others to help them make more informed decisions.

Loss of identity: When leaders are so wrapped up in their grit, they may lose the truth of who they are. They may become obsessed with who they should be, rather than who they are. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy and loss of self-worth. Therefore, leaders should take time to reflect on their values and goals and make sure that they are aligned with their true selves.

High risk of depression: Leaders who are too gritty may also be at risk of depression. They may feel overwhelmed by the pressure to succeed, and this can take a toll on their mental health. Therefore, leaders should make sure to prioritize their mental and emotional well-being and seek support if needed.

To conclude, grit is an important quality for leaders to have, as it drives them towards achieving their goals and pushing through challenges. However, too much grit can have negative consequences, such as burnout, clouded judgment, loss of identity, and high risk of depression. Therefore, leaders should strive to balance grit with adaptability and flexibility, and seek feedback and support to help them navigate their careers.

Lead From Within: Being gritty is not enough. It must be balanced with adaptability, self-awareness, and the ability to change course.

#1 N A T I O N A L  B E S T S E L L E R

The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness

After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.

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Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR,, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.


  1. How Too Much Grit Can Derail Your Leadership Success - Worldfeedthepoorday January 30, 2023

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