By Angela Duckworth
Grit matters more than talent! That's the message of Angela Duckworth's insightful, readable, and practical, Grit: The Power Of Passion And Perseverance. But Dr. Duckworth is not going to stop there. She is going to share research, stories, and some very practical tools to help those who want it -- really want it -- discover and apply that power.
Duckworth is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a 2013 MacArthur fellow and has consulted an impressive host of leaders in business, education, and sports. Her passion? "Using psychological science to help kids thrive.” A part of that thriving is helping kids to discover the power of grit.
What does it mean to be gritty?
To be gritty is to keep putting one foot in front of the other. To be gritty is to hold fast to an interesting and purposeful goal. To be gritty is to invest, day after week after year, in challenging practice. To be gritty is to fall down seven times, and rise eight. 275
Like Geoff Colvin‘s book, Talent Is Overrated, Duckworth says we’ve been distracted by talent. In fact, grit — that powerful combination of passion and perseverance — plays a more significant role than talent. That’s not to say, talent is not important, it’s just not all important. And that is not to say (and I appreciate her saying it) that grit is everything.
I've been asked, on more than one occasion, why I feel grit is the only thing that matters. In fact, I don't. . . . As a psychologist, I can confirm that grit is far from the only--or even the most important--aspect of a person's character. . . . So, grit isn't everything. There are many other things a person needs in order to grow and flourish. Character is plural.
Grit is a research driven text and a delight to read. Duckworth peppers her work with fascinating studies, everyday stories, useful facts, figures, and diagrams.
Grit has been a big help to me. Not only is it a great reminder of what I have been taught and work to practice, it was a necessary kick in the butt. Gritty people persevere toward their goals, even when -- and especially when -- it is hard. Lately, it has been hard. My efforts have been flagging. I needed to hear what she said. I suspect that is part of the reason I have devoted significant time to this book on my On My Walk podcast.
Grit spoke to my roles as a parent, grandparent, professor, and leader. My copy is marked and highlighted throughout. Francis Bacon said, "Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested." Grit: The Power Of Passion And Perseverance is meant to be chewed and digested.
Read it! Apply it. I think you’ll be glad you did.