Philie Group Blog

Grit and Tenacity — Part of a Leader’s Playbook
By Mike Philie

Supply chain disruptions, inflation, and staffing challenges have created headwinds for all industries, and the print world is no exception. These outside factors challenge the status quo for many businesses, and may in fact, become another inflection point in our industry. There isn’t a playbook for owners and CEOs to turn to in addressing these issues as they tackle their strategy and growth goals. Many turn to their past experiences, their peers, and their trusted advisors for insight and guidance. One thing is certain though, business as usual doesn’t apply.

While everyone is facing similar challenges, the approach taken by the leaders can differ. As I scan the businesses that I speak with, those that are leading the pack seem to all have something in common. They seem to operate with a bit of an edge, or grit, and they have that level of tenacity that keeps them chipping away at their desired outcomes, regardless of the challenges they face. These leaders face these market influences head-on and continue to increase the gap between themselves and their competitors.

While grit and tenacity are important attributes within these organizations, it’s often their culture that provides the oxygen needed to stay the course. It’s a culture of being intentional in all they do. The best part is, they usually do it by providing a work environment that attracts the top people. They work hard at being the employer of choice in their region. They understand that without the right people, in the right place. doing the right things, that no amount of planning can survive the first hiccup. They strive to play to their potential every day.

This success doesn’t just happen. Many of these CEOs rely on the effectiveness and outcomes of their senior team strategy sessions. Many of these firms have been using strategy planning sessions for years, while others are just now adding them to their playbook. These work groups are where the critical issues are discussed and decided upon. Successful planning feeds the day to day playbook these firms rely on.

Perhaps grit and tenacity can be factors in your success, and used as a differentiator in the market. I’m not sure though, that these are measurable and objective. But if you were to add them to your scorecard and KPIs, how would you rate your team on a scale of 1-10? Might be a good topic to discuss at your next team meeting.

Any thoughts on this? I wonder what would happen if you added these words, or concepts into your next meeting. Let me know how it goes. Good luck.

Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.comLinkedIn or email at

Originally published in Printing Impressions.


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