The cool thing about mentors is they challenge you to be better. I’ve had a few mentors in my life and one of my favorites, who I believe has true grit, turned me on to Angela Duckworth’s book “Grit – The Power of Passion and Perseverance.” Just when you think you might have a handle on how to succeed at work, get the company to the “next level” and do what you (or I) love to do most – build great teams – you get a book like Grit handed to you and your perspective changes.
For those of you unfamiliar with Grit, I might suggest that you stop reading this and start on the book. It’s that good.
Duckworth believes that the secret to success, whether at work, raising kids, or sports, is not related to talent but to grit, and grit is defined as the combination of passion and long term perseverance.
As Duckworth says “Our potential is one thing. What we do with it is quite another.” All of this sounds great, but for you firstborns out there, Duckworth actually puts a mathematical equation behind grit. If you go to her website here, you can take a test to your Grit Score; I’ve include mine below. While I don’t think I’ve ever gotten above a 4.0 on anything, candidly, I was hoping for higher.
I was fascinated that we now have a measure for success – one measurable instead of many. In today’s world of KPIs, metrics, dashboards and trends, isn’t it nice to just have one number to review to predict success? The other fascinating revelation was the type of questions that were asked to produce your Grit Score. Questions about setbacks, distractions, focus – questions that make you think. I thought I had grit, but I guess I’m grit-ish.
At eimagine, we are trying to create a culture of grit – of passionate individuals who have the perseverance and dedication to improve our company, our clients, and our community. I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about our Grit Scores.
I’ve also wondered if Duckworth’s concepts apply to parenting. As a parent, you obviously want the world for your kids. Is it possible to help them along and instill in them a bit of Grit? While Duckworth’s points out there is limited scientific work on parenting and grit, she does offer her ideas and they certainly resonated with me. Now, I just need to get my four hellions to be more gritty.
I hope you find time to enjoy the book. I’m curious to get your feedback on Grit and how you see it at work or at home. For me, it really brought a singular focus on how to achieve success.
Thanks for the introduction Gene. You’ve always pushed me and eimagine to be better and I appreciate that – thanks.