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: