Talent Counts, but Grit Counts Twice As Much

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gritI love the word “Grit.”

Sure, there are other words we can use:  perseverance, determination, passion, etc.

But Grit seems to embody all of these….and more.

I am reading a new book by Angela Duckworth (a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania) titled — you got it — Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.  

Here’s the Bid Idea:  Talent is one thing; what you do with it is another.

We admire “naturals” – people we think have succeeded because of their innate ability. But as much as talent counts, effort counts twice.

Grit is passion and perseverance for long-term goals—and it is what turns talent into skill, and skill into achievement.

Angela studied GRIT in all sorts of settings, from West Point to the National Spelling Bee, in urban high school students, sales representatives, and professional athletes — and we know that it’s not so much of environment as it is values.

She goes to say “Every one of us is ambitious. We want to be our best selves. We want to be proud of what we’ve accomplished. We want to solve problems and help people. Too often, we don’t realize those ambitions because we don’t finish what we start. I believe that by emulating the beliefs and habits of exemplars of grit—I call them grit paragons—we can cultivate our own passion and perseverance.”

So true for all of us leaders and achievers.

And, a nugget for parents and influencers of young leaders: Instilling Grit in the next generation is about being both supportive and demanding. (Because being supportive without high standards is too permissive. Being demanding without offering support is too authoritarian).

Stay Focused.  Determine to Get Up if you’re knocked down.  Success is always a marathon, not a sprint.


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