The judges have decided. What does it take to have GRIT?

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Our second ever GRIT awards are fast approaching (October 3rd– have you registered to watch yet?), and the results are in. Through this process, we’ve learned a thing or two about what it takes to have GRIT.

The first time we hosted these awards back in March, we reviewed everything from the nominations to the final applications. Moving forward, we’ve changed things up. And in doing so, some interesting pieces of information have come to light. But first, let’s walk you through the process. Because receiving a GRIT award is actually a little tougher than you might think.

How it all goes down

Just as you might expect, we put out our initial call for nominations. People get excited, and our inboxes fill up. We love it! We see all sorts of nominations come in: bosses recommending employees, colleagues recommending each other, members of the community recognizing incredible individuals, and we even see some people throwing their own names into the hat. We collect them all, and we marinate in their awesomeness, reviewing each candidate closely here in house.

Our editorial team deliberates and we decide which candidates become finalists by evaluating the nomination letters and candidate’s CV/resume.

Once we have our selection of finalists, we strip everything. The only thing that gets passed along to our external panel of judges is an encrypted application to avoid any possible bias.

We remove any qualifying information such as name, company, photographs, LinkedIn profiles, and gender data. And at this stage, the application the nominee completes carries all of the weight. Now, the only category in which any qualifying data is known is the male champions category for obvious reasons.

Let us introduce you to our judges.

Our external panel of judges then take those blind applications and determines an overall score for each candidate which determines our winners.

What we’ve learned

We discovered there is a wide spectrum when it comes to how open people are in sharing their truths.

Judge Paula Glover commented;

“There was a level of authenticity in that you could see how their personal stories and issues that go on at home, impact their work life. I also really appreciated that nominees were willing to be honest about areas where they fell short and recognized that everything is a learning experience.”  

But what became overwhelmingly obvious is that most struggle with owning our stories. There is an incredible imbalance between how someone else will boast about our pluckiness and how we present the same stories.

Ultimately? We tend to sell ourselves short.

That’s taught us we need to do more to help everyone speak their truths, to own their stories, and to be authentic.

Humans struggle to brag about themselves. The nomination letters for our candidates were filled with powerful language about strength, bravery and resilience. But when it came to the applications, candidates were quick to downplay their grit and undersell themselves.  We get it. It’s unsettling to do a deep dive and share pressure and struggles.

It’s uncomfortable to talk about these topics.  It’s even less comfortable to grip on to the gritty stuff that really makes us who we are. But that’s what the GRIT Awards are all about. The spirit of GRIT isn’t about whether or not someone is a rockstar (we all are). It’s about the people who can be open about their failures and experiences and be able to tell these stories and rise from them.