The Value of Grit

As adults most of are both leaders and followers and regardless of our role we typically desire success for both ourselves and others. And while there have been thousands of studies conducted and many books written on the subject a “formula” to success remains illusive.

Angela Lee Duckworth, former high level consultant turned 7th grade math teacher and psychologist has been studying the idea of “grit” as related to success and has some interesting findings to share in her TEDtalk on education.

While Duckworth’s focus is on education, her findings and implied advice can be useful for anyone wishing to accomplish their goals.

Duckworth left a high level consulting career to become a 7th grade math teacher. In her 7th grade classrooms she noticed that IQ was not the best factor to determine which students in her classes would succeed and fail. She found that those students with “grit” (which she also defines as passion and perseverance) had the highest chances of success regardless of any other factor.

She left teaching to pursue a masters degree in psychology and to study the relevance of “grit” as related to success. She conducted her studies across many walks of life and found that “grit”—passion, perseverance, stamina, hard work, “sticking with your future”—was more important than social intelligence, physical health, good looks and IQ, which are all factors traditional considered to be very important to success.

You can listen to Duckworth’s TEDtalk here:

Electoral College

When we talk about leaders, the most popular one at the moment to us is our own president. Recently there was an election and then a big push by the losing team for the Electoral College votes to overturn the votes. So the Victor crew wanted to know a little more about what the Electoral College is all about. For this we turn to CGP Grey on YouTube to see how he explains it.

Here is his first video on How the Electoral College Works:

Here is the second part video called The Trouble with the Electoral College

He has an updated video of the second part that was uploaded just last month:

Here is some further reading:

Leadership in a small package

A young girl, Malala Yousafzai is known to stand up against the Taliban in Pakistan. She demanded that girls should be allowed to receive an education. Born in July 1997, she is currently 19 years old. In 2012, she was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman but survived. She went on to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 and is the youngest recipient at age 17.

Here is her Nobel Peace Prize speech:

Her hometown, Mingora, Pakistan, changed as a result of the Taliban tried to take control. Her father founded a school she attended. The Taliban started attacking girls’ schools so Malala gave a speech in 2008 called “How dare the Taliban take away my basic right to education?”

She began blogging for the BBC in 2009 about the threat of the Taliban to deny her education under the pseudonym Gul Makai. She was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Price in 2011 for her activism. She was awarded the National Youth Peace Prize by Pakistan that year.

When Malala was 14 years old, the Taliban had issued a death threat against her. Her family didn’t feel someone would actually harm a child. However, on October 9, 2012, a man boarded her bus and shot her in the side of the head. She was flown to a military hospital in Peshawar and transferred to Birmingham, England. She had to have multiple surgeries. March 2013 she began attending school in Birmingham.

Malala has written an autobiography, I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban. She is still considered a target by the Taliban.

This is her speech at the UN in 2013

Her 18th birthday, July 12, 2015 (also called Malala Day), she opened a school for Syrian refugee girls in Lebanon.

You can join her fight for education of girls at her website:

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