The saying goes like this: Look into the future and you’ll find the A-students of today … working for the B-students … at companies owned by C-students.

Whether that’s accurate or not, here’s the point: Intelligence isn’t the indicator of success.

So what is?

It’s grit, says psychologist Angela Lee Duckworth.

In a recent TED presentation, she explains that grit is a vague (and at this point unmeasurable) quality — passion and perseverance, stamina and motivation — “sticking with your future not for days and months, but for years.”

Here’s something else she mentioned:

“It’s shocking how little we know about grit.” (She cited Dr. Carol Dweck’s concept of the “Growth Mindset,” a mentality that does not present failure as a permanent condition.)

If we knew more about it, chances are that parents would find a way to instill it — big time.

It’s every parent’s nightmare to hear about those brilliant kids who are successful in school until they hit their freshman year in college, when it all comes apart.

That’s one of those turning points for grit — and the challenge is to identify the million more pivot points in life where this quality can be cultivated, used and encouraged.

And guess what’s needed to get the ball rolling? It starts with a g …

— Kathy Mangold
Vistelar Group


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