Mastering the Hustle

“Great things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”

-unk, author-

When we use the term “hustle” some might think that it refers to someone that seeks to take the advantage of others, but that idea and term is from a time long ago.  Today the term “hustle” most closely refers to a person who gets the job done despite arduous circumstances.  With this thought in mind – we would like to explore what a hustler means in this breadcrumb.   

Characteristics of a Hustler

  • Understands the “why” behind what they are doing and what they plan to do
  • Open doors which have remain shut or closed
  • Ask for additional responsibilities not more authority
  • Goes the extra mile without being told to do so
  • Uses rejection as a cause to do better not to do worst

These are just a few of the things the person who understands the true game of a hustler.  These same persons understand that “hustling” is linked to freedom and “following” is linked to being bound.  As a leader, often we hire and promote off the wrong tangible group of qualities.  That is, we look at a person’s pedigree and proclaim that because they have the look and organizational knowledge that this is what is needed in a good leader.  However, I suggest that this is completely wrong.  While those might be attributes of a good employee, it is not the things which will make a good leader.

Myths Associated with a Hustler

  • Hustlers are not intelligent people (they are actually emotional intelligence people)
  • Hustlers are work horses (work horses are those that just working harder for everyone)
  • Hustlers work harder than others (no they work smarter than others)
  • Hustlers are not trustworthy (hustlers are very trustworthy – they care for the business)

These are just a few of the ideas that linger about the mindset and actions of a person who possess the hustler spirit.  Most of which are not true at all.  The true hustler is not dumb, but a person who possess business savvy, as well as, emotional intelligence to get the job done.  Often the hustler is not bound by the restrictions of the “box” which means they operate outside the box.  “No”, is often not in their vocabulary because they use this answer as a cause to ask for more information.   While they are not work horses which do whatever they are told to do – they are hard workers which will do whatever it takes to make the organization successful. 

Hustling Beats Talent

Many leaders might choose to promote or hire a person who have talent over those who possess hustle but that would be a mistake.  A person who possesses the spirit of hustle will beat someone who does not possess this same attitude.  It has been said that one can know everything and do nothing which suggests they lack hustle to go along with their knowledge.  When talent levels are the same, the person who is willing to hustle will always finish ahead of their counterparts.  Without hustle there is no persist consistent results.  Let’s use this concept in a different example for the sake of clarity.  Let’s say that one wanted to build a team.  On one team the entire organization is made up of smart people.  The second team is made-up of talented people, and a third team is comprised of hustlers.  While the team, which is made of smart people will most likely heavily depend upon their smarts, they will not see the need for hustle or to become more talented because they are indeed smart.  The second team, which possesses talent will heavily depend upon their talents and will see very little need to hustle, nor would they find a need to become smarter because they are already talented.  Then there is the third team which contain the hustlers – which know that they are not smart nor talented, so they decide to become both through hustle, and the rest as they say is history.  If you look at the heart of the successful leader, you will see it looks very much like the mindset of a hustler. 


Overall, as a leader there are certain must haves to ensure that one is successful.  To be perfectly honest there is simply no substitute that can measure up to the spirit of a true hustler.  It is often the only thing which separates a good leader from a great leader when the talent levels are equal in both parties.  Hustlers ensure the job is done right on time as well as ensure the organization does not fail. The hustler is highly promotable, but also work well within the team to get the job done.  As a leader, it would do well to develop the hustlers of the organization.

Published by Leading The Leaders, LLC

Here at Leading The Leaders, we believe that the best way to guide an individual or a group is via perpetual development. This is different from just seeking training. We believe that training is good, but development speaks to creating a better leader while training often supports the needs of the organization making the organization better through its people.

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