It’s Better To Be Gutsy Than Good

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Early in my career, a friend introduced me to ‘Why Good Girls Don’t Get Ahead but Gutsy Girls Do’ by Kate White.  She had read it and felt that I would also find it useful and I did, for several reasons.  This book, like so many others that I have read since then, had a profound impact on my way of thinking about myself, about work and about managing others.  So I thought that it would be useful to share some of the things that have stuck with me over the years.

  • Deliverables matter.

If you are going to be successful, you need to know what are the key deliverables that your manager expects from you.  You need to prioritize these and you need to allocate the majority of your time to making them happen.

  • Do not apologize for wanting to be successful or wanting to do a good job.

From the start of this book the author made it easy for you to identify what it takes to be successful. Being willing to take chances and implement the good ideas that come into your head. Also being unafraid to speak up and offer opinions that can contribute to the overall success of the organization.

  • There is great value in delegating tasks.

Not only does delegating free you up to do other things but it also adds to the growth and development of those you manage or supervise. Not everyone is going to think that what you have asked them to do is boring and mundane.  There are times that the very thing which you hate doing is something that someone else would find the most rewarding and energizing part of their day.  So be willing to engage others and offer them the opportunity to do tasks that might be a stretch for them or an opportunity to operate at a higher level.

  • Get over the need to be liked.

From this book I also learned that many of us have an inherent need to be liked and to be thought of as perfect.  Therefore we often prefer to keep our heads down and hope that we are not noticed as we plod away, working hard and getting things done.  For me, I did not like to know that I was making mistakes.  As a result I was always afraid to receive feedback from my boss.  I can still remember the day that my mindset changed. Moving away from a fear that you will hear something negative about yourself, gets you to a point where you can get valuable information that can help you to grow.

To be successful you have to be willing to take chances.  Being courageous means that you are willing to push the envelope and take the opportunity to see what will happen if you try.  Trying means that sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. That’s why it is better to be gutsy than good.


Marjorie Wharton is a trainer, facilitator and coach who works with individuals and organizations to help them improve their performance.  She is based at the Sagicor Cave Hill School of Business in Barbados.  For more of her writing visit



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