As we continue to look at the topic of GRIT (Growth, Resilience, Integrity, Tenacity) we move our focus to the third defining term, which is integrity. At first glance, this one doesn’t seem to fit as well as the other three and maybe raises a question or two of whether or not it really should be part of our acronym. The other three make sense but this one? What does integrity have to do with having grit? Well I am glad you asked.

Integrity and grit have somewhat of a symbiotic relationship. A person needs grit to have integrity and they need integrity to have grit. Grit is the ability to stick to your passion or goal over a long period of time even in the face of setbacks. Integrity is a key to being able to do that.

A person of grit is someone who:

  • Is honest (especially with themselves)
  • Takes responsibility for their action and choices
  • Learns from their mistakes and does not blame others for them
  • Follows through on commitments (for themselves and others)

With those descriptors it is not so hard to see how integrity is at the core of grit. All the characteristics above are ones you find in someone with integrity. At the same time, it is easy to see that you need grit to be a person of integrity. A person of integrity is someone who chooses to do the right thing even when no one is watching. He or she will not take the easy path or the easy way out. To do the right thing oftentimes takes grit.

In my next blog we will continue to unravel the importance of integrity in grit and vice versa. The key point of today’s blog is for us to understand that if we want to develop grit in our students we need to invest in teaching and modeling integrity. You really can’t have one without the other.

Karl Steinkamp
Blog #38
Day 51


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