By Sunny Simon

     While sorting the mail I was immediately drawn to the four letter word spanning about a fourth of the magazine cover. One of my favorite words – GRIT. Along with Angela Duckworth, the nation’s self proclaimed  cheerleader of grit, my belief is that power-packed factor is a strong contender for the number one trait of successful people.

     Since Angela and I are members of the same philosophical tribe, I immediately stopped sorting the mail and read the article promoting her 2016 best-seller book, “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.” Next I watched her TED Talk, then toggled over to her website and took the Grit Scale test.

     Why am I so over-the-top about the grit theme? For starters, let’s use Angela as an example. During her childhood, her father often complained about her intellectual limitations. Turns out decades later Angela was awarded a “genius grant” from the MacArthur Foundation for her work on the role grit plays in educational achievement. Here’s the kicker, her research defines grit an accurate predictor of both classroom and workplace success.


     In her TED, talk Angela observed during her time spent teaching, some of her strongest students did not have “stratospheric IQ scores.” As a researcher she observed that one characteristic emerged as a significant predictor of success. It was grit which Angela defines as “passion and perseverance for very long-term goals.”

     The data boils down to this. Success isn’t dependent on good looks, family income or talent. Being gritty means slugging it out day after day in pursuit of your goals, staying motivated and not giving  up until you reach the finish line. Just writing that sentence makes me want to do my happy dance and fist pump with joy.

     My message today is, any child in school and any adult in the workplace can make it. So parents, teach your children to be gritty. It’s a work ethic, role model it for them, show them you never give up.

     Careerists, young and old, what may have impeded success in the past need not predict the future. Be sure to check out Angela’s Grit Scale and see how you score: Make the needed corrections and if you need more inspiration, read her book.

     Will accomplishing your goal be easy now that you have the secret sauce? No, of course not, but here’s an anonymous quote I found to give you that extra needed push, “It’s gonna get harder before it gets easier. It will get better, you just gotta make it through the hard stuff first.” Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching. More about Sunny at

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