By John Lim, CTO

So guess what I have been doing the last few days? Besides trying to think of ideas for a new article.

Any guesses? No? No takers? Well, I’ve had the pleasure of working with the Engineers here at TekTegrity on a major disaster recovery effort. Yeah, not fun. I never want to ever experience that again.

Or do I?

What are you made of?

First of all – I’m not a glutton for punishment. At all. But it is only during disaster scenarios that we get to see what each other are made of in vivid color. I’m talking about that true grit that you can see pouring out of your team when the going gets tough. It is that demonstration of grit that makes you so proud of the people that surround you. The self-sacrifice and the all that “I got this, I got you fam” attitude. Everyone is oozing that passion and persistence. It’s a beautiful sight to behold.

Now I know what I want to write about.

All I Learned About Grit I Learned From My Mother

About a year ago, I came across Angela Duckworth’s TED talk and immediately grabbed her book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance from Audible.  Saying the message was eye opening is an understatement. The message completely helped me understand my mother.

Quick background on my mother. She was #9 of 10 siblings born into a very poor Taiwanese farming family. Left home at a very young age without formal education. Started working and living at a neon/fluorescent light factory. Fast forward decades and thousands of miles of distance, and we find her thriving in the United States. Int he 1990s she helped many Contract Manufacturing companies get their start by prototyping manufacturing procedures and processes for many of the top consumer electronics giants we know today.

So we have a little Taiwanese girl born on a farm with no formal education and no monetary means (literally dirt poor). How did she become a success? For a lack of a better term, I’d like to attribute her success to her True Grit (yes, grittier than John Wayne). Still is. Hard work, Passion, Perseverance has ALWAYS been her vocabulary. Did my Mother have a talent for what she does for a living? Not sure, but if you consider being able to find the passion for what you do and working hard at talent, then she has plenty.


How does this relate to IT?  Isn’t this an IT article? In a round about way… no, this is not an IT article. Wait – who am I kidding? How it relates to TekTegrity is that I love to see people with grit working here. I can train IT. Knowing Servers, Networks, Microsoft, VMware, etc…that is all trainable, learnable. Passion; Perseverance, that is something I always try to tap into. Everyone has it BUT I believe to tap into that grit from your employees this is very much cultural and has to come top down. To get grit from your peeps, one must show grit.


John Lim, CTO
// John, CTO directs our team of technicians in support cases, new project planning, and research and development. John came to TekTegrity after spending ten years as a leader in Cuesta College’s Information Technology Department where he helped make possible Cuesta’s High Tech building, myCuesta portal, and Gmail integration. If you come by the office and there are dozens of donuts, bagels or fresh egg rolls (from San José) in the break room, John is most likely the food fairy who left them. And if he’s not feeding or directing the tech team you might find John having lunch at the Elks Lodge or spot him cruising the coast with his motorcycle gang.  More on John >>