Book Review: Grit

Grit by Angela Duckworth

This book may not have a direct impact on the behaviors of a manager, but it is critical for a manager to understand as they choose talent develop talent.

The book demonstrates that one of the most important characteristics to success is "grit", a passion and perseverance for long-term goals. Your company might call it resilience, but the idea is the same. Those that have the desire to succeed at something and can recover from setbacks and keep going.

The best example, and where she really developed this concept, was when she was hired to study why some people succeeded at West Point while others dropped out. These are all successful young people who have an amazing combination of physical and mental skills. The defining characteristic became grit - how much passion and resilience did they have towards the goal of graduating.

As a manager, you want to hire people with grit. Once you have them, you want to ensure that they continue to be developed and don't lose it. My own experience is that someone who has it usually never loses it, but gets put in situations where they don't activate the grit (because he is not engaged).

Read this book and figure out how many of your team have grit and then how you can ensure they use that trait to succeed long term.

Here is a the author talking about this concept in a TED talk.