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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."
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-03-21
- Reviewer: Staff
What makes high achievers successful, MacArthur Fellow Duckworth writes, is grit—a “combination of passion and perseverance”—coupled to their raw talent. Talent is important, she acknowledges, but talent multiplied by grit is what builds skill, and skill multiplied by grit equals achievement. Duckworth believes that talent or genius is innate, but “grit grows.” In three sections, she defines grit, then shows how it can develop “from the outside in” and “from the inside out.” She mixes descriptions of her own experience with notable success stories, such as that of quarterback Steve Young, and discoveries in psychology, creating a highly readable guide to achievement. “This book has been my way of taking you out for a coffee and telling you what I know,” Duckworth concludes. She includes a self-assessment quiz, advice from Warren Buffet on identifying personal goals, and a chapter devoted to the ideal parenting style—a combination of supportive and demanding—for those who want to encourage the development of grit in their children. This is an informative and inspiring contribution to the literature of success. (May)