6 Grit Playbooks that hit so hard they give you f*cking whiplash.

“I'm the greatest, I'm a bad man, and I'm pretty!”

Bryan is an ex Pro Sports Performance coach turned repeat founder and startup advisor. He is the COO and Co-Founder at LEON.

We’ve all heard about those startups that began in someone’s bay area garage and went on to become behemoths of companies.

We love hearing about underdogs rising up and winning. While a lot of their success can be attributed to great market timing, and a whole lot of ridiculous luck, you can’t discount the fact that these early employees and founders were gritty as all hell - super focused on the mission at hand, and willing to do whatever it took to sky rocket their companies to a new stratosphere.

But that said, while some of us are born with a bit more grit than the rest (yes, genetics and upbringing matter) you can build grit over time, if you understand the mechanisms behind it.

While the science of grit is better left to some other, well-written blog article (hopefully by Angela Duckworth), what we are here to discuss is the playbooks and the strategies you can run, to build a gritty as f*ck startup.

6 Grit Playbooks for rocket ship startups.

From goal setting playbooks, to personal growth playbooks, creating a team full of grit is key. Here are 6 Grit Playbooks to help you and your team grow fast as hell.


1. Do Something That Scares The Sh*T Out Of You.

It’s worthwhile once a year to do something that scares the absolute sh*t out of you. For some, that might be public speaking. For others, that might be running a marathon.

What if at the beginning of this month, you sat down with your team and discussed something that made you each scared or uncomfortable and then set out to conquer that fear over the next 365 days?

2. I'm Putting A Man On The Moon

When leading NASA in the 1960s, President John F. Kennedy not only gave inspiring speeches about putting a man on the moon, he also connected his big, hairy goal (to put a man on the moon) to the lower-level, short-term goals (building circuit boards) that comprised employees’ day-to-day work.

Use this Playbook to set a series of 3 team focused OKRs designed to tie back to your big, hairy, audacious team goal.

3. Is This Love?

Embracing grit as a part of your culture starts with showing gratitude.

"Grit is one of our core values," shares Fjuri CEO Thom Gruhler, former CMO of Microsoft Windows. "We look for people who willing to experiment and take risks, while also being transparent about the challenges they face. Time and time again, I see employees who step up and accomplish something they themselves didn't know they were capable of, which helps to move the entire company forward."

If you love what you do, let others know. Wear your passion on your sleeve. Schedule a time to get the team together and share your passions, and your failures if needed.

Remember, life is a marathon, not a sprint.

4. Start Company-Wide Traditions

What makes a company special is its traditions. Maybe each year around the holidays, you host a company wide Gingerbread House competition. Maybe when it snows more than 2-3 inches, the company enjoys a “snow day”. Maybe on those exceptionally rainy days, everybody makes tea and enjoys an hour of reading.

Traditions bond people together, they raise morale and they give everybody something to look forward to.

5. Hack Days By Superhuman

When was the last time you built something from scratch — all in a single day?

Most days, urgent priorities consume our time, whether we are meeting deadlines or supporting our teams. There never seems to be enough space to unleash our most creative ideas.

That's why my favorite days are hack days! They create the opportunity to build something new — from start to finish — all in one day.

6. Retrospective is the new wave

Successes teach us to do more of what we did well next time. But we can often learn even more from failures: maybe one small tweak could have saved the entire effort. In any case, as decades of experience have shown, continuous process improvements sustainably increase quality and productivity.

This principle is as true in user-experience design as in assembly-line manufacturing of automobiles. To keep getting better, we should periodically reflect on our methods.

Use this Playbook to identify how to improve teamwork by reflecting on what worked, what didn’t, and why.

We recommend running a Retrospective with your team every couple of weeks or at the end of a project milestone.


Choosing a Playbook to best support your team and knowing the right Playbook for the right team are two very different things. Luckily for you — LEON has taken employee well-being and performance to whole other level. Here’s a step-by-step on how to use Playbooks within LEON.


1. Get started with LEON and launch to your team - It's only $450 for an admin account, and $99 for each additional manager!
2. Gather the data - After you launch, LEON will roll our a series of "check-ins" with your team. This will give us the data insights we need to start providing you the manager with Playbook recommendations.
3. Check your Growth Windows - this is where the magic happens. Windows tells you the exact teams that need support or challenged. That way, each separate teams gets exactly what they need, when they need it.
4. Pick your Playbook - Our algorithm will recommend a series of Playbook based on data science. From there pick your Playbook, and send it out to your team! In one click you can start and invite your team directly through your dashboard.
5. Boom. We see a happier and healthier team of employees in your future.

try lEON for your team

60-day free trial | No credit card needed
* For 60 days. Pricing starts at $450/month for the first manager. $99/month for each additional.
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