Grit is something you can't learn in schools, but can only learn in the real world. Or, by watching this video. From Harvard historian Nancy Koehn, here's what great leaders throughout history can tell you about resilience.
Great leaders are few and far between but Nancy Koehn, a historian of business at Harvard Business School, has put together a compendium of anecdotes from five great leaders throughout history. It reads like a whos-who of humanitarianism, with true stories of grit and determination from the likes of explorer Ernest Shackleton, American president Abraham Lincoln, the abolitionist Frederick Douglass, the Nazi-resisting Lutheran minister Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and the environmental activist Rachel Carson. Here, Nancy Koehn talks to us about how Ernest Shackleton overcame some incredible odds to hold his team together on a doomed Antarctic expedition, and how we can learn from his stories. Nancy's great new book is Forged in Crisis: The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times.
The best career advice that you are not getting? Financial feminist and Wall Street powerhouse Sallie Krawcheck delivers.
Sallie Krawcheck is the current CEO of Ellevest (a digital investment platform for women), is a former CFO and CEO at Citigroup and Merrill Lynch respectively, and is a self-described "financial feminist". She speaks here to women, but this advice can be applied across the board to anyone who is marginalized in the workplace or wants to jumpstart their personal wealth. For Krawcheck, the best career advice no one is talking about is actually financial advice: invest. Make your money work while you do, so that you have more financial freedom to make confident decisions in your career: ask for a promotion, quit the job that doesn't treat you well, or test your own business ideas. If you have money in the bank, you are free to play looser with your decisions. Men do it, and women should too. Remember this: "Ladies, we will not be equal with men until we are financially equal with men," Krawcheck says. Her second piece of advice is to ask for more money from your very first job, and to plant the seeds of a 12-pronged pay-rise request far in advance. Twelve prongs? Yep. It will all makes sense once you hear out her incredible guide to negotiating a salary increase and closing the gender pay gap. Sallie Krawcheck is the author of Own It: The Power of Women at Work.
The story of the world's most successful people is really only half told.
What do successful people have in common? They're not satisfied with success. After winning an Olympic gold medal, or filling one the nation's top offices "they would then say, 'Okay, I’m restless to get more out of myself and I want to break myself down and take on the next challenge'," explains Sarah Robb O'Hagan, an overachiever herself. However that's only one side of the story, and it's something O'Hagan grows conscious of every time she's introduced at a conference or reads articles about her work: people always play the highlight reel of her career, but it never shows the full picture. According to O'Hagan, the other thing successful people have in common is that they struggled into success. "The truth is, I’ve had some really embarrassing f*ck-ups along the way. And I think it’s important for young people to see that those who become successful have had all those moments of uncertainty, all those moments of, frankly, averageness." If you want to push your limits and become an extreme success, for O'Hagan it starts with deep self-understanding: dig into your strengths and your flaws. Sometimes the only way to achieve that level of introspection is the hard way: by trying something that is a miserable failure. Experience is the surest way to find where you thrive. Sarah Robb O'Hagan is the author of Extreme You: Step Up. Stand Out. Kick Ass. Repeat.