True Grit

I subscribe to Franklin University’s Leadership Practice daily email.  The following email resonated with me regarding both our employees and our students.  Mostly it probably resonated with me personally because I know my own IQ would not measure up with many of the talented people I work with.  I thought it was worth sharing.

Some may think of the 2010 movie True Grit, while those who are older may remember it as a 1969 movie starring John Wayne.  But, here’s something else that may be true about grit.  It can be a better predictor of high accomplishment than IQ (and even talent).

In a 2007 study,* researchers found that grit, defined as “perseverance and passion towards long-term goals is one personality trait shared by those at the top of every field.”  Based on interviews with professionals in a wide variety of fields they formulated their hypothesis that “grit is essential to high achievement.”

They found a “person who demonstrates the characteristics associated with grit works strenuously towards challenges, maintains effort and interest over years despite failure, adversity and plateaus in progress.  The gritty individual doesn’t allow setbacks to discourage them from achieving their long-term goal.”

Across multiple studies, they found individual differences in grit accounted for significant differences is success outcomes over that explained by IQ.   For example:

  • Grittier individuals attained higher levels of education than those less gritty of the same age.
  • Grittier individuals made fewer career changes than less gritty peers of the same age.
  • Undergraduates higher in grit had higher GPAs that their peers, despite lower SAT scores.
  • Grit was a better predictor of summer retention at West Point than other measures.
  • Grittier competitors in the National Spelling Bee outranked less gritty competitors.

How about you?  Do you have true grit?

* Grit:  Perseverance and Passion for Long-Term Goals (Duckworth, Peterson, Matthews, and Kelly) summarized in Grit Is a Better Predictor of High Accomplishment than IQ – Click here. Or see Angela Duckworth’s TED talk on Grit by clicking here

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One Response to True Grit

  1. SAHM 740 says:

    I think this small article should be required reading for parents and high school students…esp those who think that I.Q. and test scores are the most important things…

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