Ethics – Grit and Discipline

Bryan and Robert Orr continue their discussion about ethics by talking about what it means to have grit and discipline in business. They talk about what those characteristics look like in business and in life, and they mention some good books.

Grit is a trait that can contribute to an ethical way of life; showing grit means that you follow through with a project until you get the results you want. Both physical and emotional grit are strengths, and those things tend to be more important than talent in our field.

Compared to discipline, grit is a lot more closely intertwined with a person’s emotional condition. When we encounter overwhelming negative emotions, grit is the quality that allows us to power through the current state of affairs. Discipline and grit are both based on commitment and resolve, but discipline deals more with actions rather than feelings. Discipline is more about habits, balance, and wisdom.

A belief system or set of guidance is what drives discipline. Discipline can also be repetitious and boring, but it can take you farther than raw talent if you dedicate yourself to your belief system, sources of guidance, and goals. Developing discipline requires us to establish habits and sequence those habits. Good leaders and parents are the ones who establish those habits for employees or children.

However, something to keep in mind is that both grit and discipline can amplify a person’s bad characteristics.

Robert and Bryan also discuss:

  • Grit vs. talent (Angela Duckworth)
  • Does grit count as an ethic?
  • Discipline and delaying gratification
  • Developing grit over time
  • “Real” vs. “true” emotions and thoughts
  • The downfalls of raw talent
  • Thinking about obstacles in a healthy way


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