Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

Alongside Carol Dweck, Michael Merzenich, and Barbara Arrowsmith is another brilliantly inspiring researcher I have been following since her TED Talk on Grit – Angela Duckworth. She has devoted much of her work researching grit – the common link between individuals who succeed in all walks of life – and it has been most enlightening. Unfortunately, there are no magic bullets for helping children develop grit and the journey has been like a scavenger hunt in a forest. Hopefully, that will all change soon because Angela Duckworth has a book!

What’s the book about?

Well, it’s about “grit”, of course, and why grit is the real secret to success. Here’s Angela telling us a little more about her book:

Here’s the synopsis from Amazon:

In this must-read book for anyone striving to succeed, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth shows parents, educators, athletes, students, and business people—both seasoned and new—that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a focused persistence called “grit.”

Why do some people succeed and others fail? Sharing new insights from her landmark research on grit, MacArthur “genius” Angela Duckworth explains why talent is hardly a guarantor of success. Rather, other factors can be even more crucial such as identifying our passions and following through on our commitments.

Drawing on her own powerful story as the daughter of a scientist who frequently bemoaned her lack of smarts, Duckworth describes her winding path through teaching, business consulting, and neuroscience, which led to the hypothesis that what really drives success is not “genius” but a special blend of passion and long-term perseverance. As a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, Duckworth created her own “character lab” and set out to test her theory.

Here, she takes readers into the field to visit teachers working in some of the toughest schools, cadets struggling through their first days at West Point, and young finalists in the National Spelling Bee. She also mines fascinating insights from history and shows what can be gleaned from modern experiments in peak performance. Finally, she shares what she’s learned from interviewing dozens of high achievers—from JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon to the cartoon editor of The New Yorker to Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll.

Winningly personal, insightful, and even life-changing, Grit is a book about what goes through your head when you fall down, and how that—not talent or luck—makes all the difference.

Well, I’ve pretty sold on the idea of “grit” for a while now so what I’m hoping to read more about her insights on how to develop it. The bad news is that we’ll have to wait a while more before we can get our hands on it because it won’t be released until 3 May 2016. But we can preorder it, though – yay! Meanwhile, you can catch up on grit from some of my earlier posts:

About Angela Duckworth

Angela Duckworth, PhD, is a 2013 MacArthur Fellow and professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. An expert in non-I.Q. competencies, she has advised the White House, the World Bank, NBA and NFL teams, and Fortune 500 CEOs. Prior to her career in research, she was an award-winning math and science teacher as well as the founder of a summer school for low-income children that won the Better Government Award from the state of Massachusetts. She completed her BA in neurobiology at Harvard, her MSc in neuroscience at Oxford, and her PhD in psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. More recently, she founded the Character Lab, a nonprofit whose mission is to advance the science and practice of character development in children. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance is her first book.