top of page

Leading With Tenacity And G.R.I.T 

Written by: Dr. Allen Lycka, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Dr. Allen Lycka

This text explores the essence of G.R.I.T. (Guts, Resilience, Initiative, and Tenacity), exemplified by Dr. Allen E Lycka's journey in the cosmetic surgery industry despite being diagnosed with A.L.S. (Lou Gehrig's Disease) in 2003. We discuss how understanding and developing G.R.I.T. can enhance leadership and team strength in any business setting, with real-life examples from companies like Apple, I.B.M., Google, Amazon, Netflix, SpaceX, Tesla, and Starbucks. We suggest embracing adversity as a tool for growth and success can be transformative. By implementing the principles of G.R.I.T., businesses can cultivate environments where resilience, innovation, and success are not just goals but realities.

Business people putting their strong hands together.

In business, success often hinges on intangible qualities such as persistence, resilience, and the ability to turn adversity into advantage. Dr. Allen E Lycka's story exemplifies these attributes through his remarkable journey in the cosmetic surgery industry. Diagnosed with A.L.S. in 2003 and given only six months to live, Dr. Lycka defied all odds. His story is not just about survival; it's about thriving against the odds and using challenges as stepping stones for advancement. For 30 years, he dominated the field of cosmetic surgery. This article will delve into the essence of G.R.I.T., as personified by Dr. Lycka, and how these principles can be applied to enhance leadership and team strength in any business setting, with real-life examples from companies like I.B.M. and Apple.

1. Understanding and developing tenacity and G.R.I.T

G.R.I.T., an acronym for Guts, Resilience, Initiative, and Tenacity, represents essential qualities for overcoming challenges and achieving long-term goals. Dr. Lycka's journey is a testament to G.R.I.T. in action.

  • Guts: This speaks to the courage to face difficult situations. Dr. Lycka confronted his terminal illness with immense courage, similar to how Apple Inc. faced near bankruptcy in the late 1990s before it revolutionized personal technology with products like the iPod and iPhone.

  • Resilience: Resilience is bouncing back from setbacks. I.B.M., once primarily a hardware company, successfully transitioned to a service and cloud-based business model, showcasing resilience amidst changing technology landscapes.

  • Initiative: Taking initiative means being proactive. Dr. Lycka actively sought solutions, paralleling how Netflix pivoted from DVD rentals to streaming, seizing the initiative in the evolving entertainment industry.

  • Tenacity: This is about persistence in the face of adversity. Dr. Lycka's refusal to give up mirrors how SpaceX, faced with early failures, persisted and eventually revolutionized the space industry.

2. Using adversity to strengthen your team

As Dr. Lycka and various successful businesses demonstrated, adversity can be a powerful tool for team building and leadership development.

  • Creating a shared purpose: Leaders can use challenging times to rally their teams around a common goal. Under Satya Nadella's leadership, Microsoft refocused on cloud computing and inclusivity, unifying its team towards these new objectives.

  • Building resilience: Leaders can create scenarios that mimic challenging situations to help teams develop coping strategies. Google, for example, encourages its employees to work on ambitious projects, often leading to innovative breakthroughs despite initial setbacks.

  • Encouraging innovation: Adversity often requires out-of-the-box thinking. Amazon's venture into cloud services with A.W.S., initially considered risky, is now a cornerstone of its business, showing how adversity can spur innovation.

3. Embracing adversity as your best friend

As shown by Dr. Lycka and numerous companies, considering adversity as a catalyst for growth and success can be transformative.

  • Learning opportunities: Difficult situations are often the best teachers. The 2008 financial crisis, for instance, was a significant learning curve for banks worldwide, leading to improved risk management and customer services.

  • Building character and leadership: Adversity tests and strengthens leadership qualities. Howard Schultz's return to Starbucks during its struggling period and subsequent company turnaround is a prime example.

  • Driving innovation: Adverse situations can drive innovation. Tesla's pursuit of electric vehicles amidst skepticism leads the automotive industry towards a more sustainable future.

In conclusion, Dr. Allen Lycka's story, paralleled by these business giants, is a powerful example and roadmap. By understanding and developing G.R.I.T., using adversity as a tool for strengthening teams, and embracing challenges as opportunities for growth, businesses can cultivate environments where resilience, innovation, and success are not just goals but realities. Dr. Lycka's journey, along with the examples of I.B.M., Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, SpaceX, Netflix, and Tesla, demonstrates how tenacity and a positive approach to adversity can transform challenges into triumphs in life and the business world.

Understanding and implementing the principles of G.R.I.T. can lead to remarkable transformations in business. For instance, Apple's reinvention under Steve Jobs' leadership, focusing on design and user experience, revolutionized several industries. Similarly, I.B.M.'s shift from hardware to software and services exemplifies strategic resilience and vision. These cases highlight the significance of guts, resilience, initiative, and tenacity - the core elements of G.R.I.T.

The journey of Dr. Lycka and these corporations underlines the power of using adversity as a strategic advantage. It is not the challenges themselves but how they are approached that defines success. For example, Microsoft's emphasis on cloud computing and AI, under Nadella's leadership, was a strategic move born out of the necessity to remain relevant in a rapidly evolving tech landscape. This adaptive resilience is a crucial aspect of G.R.I.T.

Finally, embracing adversity as a growth mechanism can redefine a company's trajectory. Amazon's bold venture into cloud computing and A.I. technology has set new industry standards, while Tesla's commitment to electric vehicles has redefined automotive norms. These examples underscore the importance of learning from adversity, building resilient character and leadership, and driving innovation.

In conclusion, the story of Dr. Allen Lycka, interwoven with those of these pioneering companies, provides compelling evidence of how cultivating G.R.I.T. can lead to extraordinary achievements in business. It's a reminder that challenges can catalyze unparalleled success and innovation when approached with courage, resilience, initiative, and tenacity.

Dr Allen E Lycka is one of the foremost authorities on positivity in life and business. He has the 1 rated syndicated radio show How to Live a Fantastic Life with over 7 million listeners a month. You can find out more about him at and www.DrAlSpeaaks. Book him for your business or event right now. He has limited availability.

Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube, or visit my website for more info!

Dr. Allen Lycka Brainz Magazine

Dr. Allen Lycka, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Dr. Allen Lycka is acknowledged as one of the leading cosmetic dermatologists in the world. In 2003, Dr. Lycka was diagnosed with ALS and given six months to live. After fighting the diagnosis, he is here today as a result of his courage and tenacity. Having been given a “golden ticket” Dr. Lycka used his experience to co-author the books The Secrets To Living A Fantastic Life with Harriet Tinka, Pillars of Success with 1 New York Times Best Selling Author Jack Canfield and bLU volume 1 with Corey Poirier. He is the host and executive director of How To Live a Fantastic Life show with 4 million listeners per episode. He is a sought-after speaker.



  • linkedin-brainz
  • facebook-brainz
  • instagram-04


bottom of page