Angela Duckworth's Grit is her attempt at sharing the secret to success. For many years, Duckworth conducted research about what causes one person to be more successful than another. Duckworth offers that, in order to be successful, one needs to have grit: the combination of passion and perseverance.
Duckworth claims that the combination of passion and perseverance drive effort, which—in turn—increases skill which leads to success. She conducted research on students at West Point Academy, athletes, students in a spelling bee, and business people and found the same results in each study: those with more determination and passion for their work were able to achieve more.
A major point that Duckworth makes in her book is that talent does not play as big of a role in success as many people believe it does. She argues that, by having long-term goals and the endurance to reach these goals, people with less talent can be more successful. Duckworth gives specific examples such as Pete Carroll, the coach of the Seattle Seahawks, and how his team uses her research to their advantage. Duckworth also describes the rigorous studying of students competing in the National Spelling Bee. All of these people are willing to work for what they love and are successful as a result.
Duckworth offers that there are four aspects needed to develop grit: interest, practice, purpose, and hope. The interest and practice portion relate directly to the main idea of grit—that it is necessary to have a passion (interest) and the endurance to practice this passion (perseverance). The next aspect, purpose, means that one must believe that their work is important and will make a difference to themselves or to others. Without this, the work will lose meaning. Finally, to be successful, one must have hope that things will all turn out the way they are supposed to. With hope, one will be able to overcome any challenges that they may face when trying to reach their goal.
Duckworth also claims that grit is something that can change with practice. She has created a grit scale that allows readers to see just how "gritty" they are and offers advice for how to improve grit.
This book is something that any person in a leadership role should definitely read and use, whether it be in a business setting, an athletic setting, or a classroom setting.