19 May Get The Nitty on the Grit
What is the key to success? This is a tough question to answer given that the term “success” is relative and may imply different things to different people. In this blog post, we are narrowing the term success to a few contexts, specifically academic or professional success.
Angela Lee Duckworth is a professor in psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. She studies how concepts such as grit and self-control can predict academic and professional success. Her studies involve a wide range of research participants in diverse fields ranging from students to corporate sales people. One interesting and poignant finding is that her studies have repeatedly shown grit to be the most important predictor for success.
It is important to understand what she means by grit. Grit, according to Duckworth, is a combination of perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Grit does not involve intense bursts of short-term productivity. Grit is more about the constancy of effort towards achieving a specific long-term goal that we feel passionate about.
So, is talent important for success as well? Although Duckworth’s research has not shown talent to be a strong predictor for success like grit, this in no way undermines talent. Talent certainly helps perhaps in giving us an initial advantage. But sustained effort, or grit, is what ultimately determines performance.
Grit also enables us with the ability to continue our efforts towards a goal despite failure. It helps us to be resilient when confronted with failures, accept them, and take lessons from them that could be applied towards our continued efforts in a specific direction.
Watch this video for Angela Lee Duckworth’s talk on grit, and decide the debate on grit v. talent.
by: Sohini Bhattacharya (Co-Founder & Managing Partner) & Naresh Vempala (Founder & Partner), Allegoro Communications