The Secret Ingredient Of Successful People And Organizations: Grit

curated form Forbes

Peter High: How did you determine that this would be at least a significant portion of your life work?

Angela Duckworth: I would date back to my first year of graduate school when I knew that I wanted to understand the psychology of high achievers. I basically believed then, and I do now, that almost anything can be studied, almost anything can be reverse engineered, so if we could put these high achievers under the microscope then we would be able to emulate, or imitate at least, their habits, their beliefs, and maybe replicate their experiences.

High: It seems like every commencement address has a version of “follow your passion”, as though your passion is half a block ahead of you. You make the point that in some ways that is not the most productive way to think about this. You write that it is essential to try a variety of things and quit those things that do not create a spark of passion inside of you, until you find that one thing or series of things that will inspire grit. Can you talk about that?

High: You talk about how you have developed the “Hard Thing Rule” for your family. I wonder if you could provide an overview of the three levels of the Hard Thing Rule.

Duckworth: I was growing up at Penn where I did my PhD, both as a mom and as a psychologist at the same time. Every day when I came home I thought, “what are the implications of what I am studying for my own children?”

High: You talk about four different traits of “gritty” people: interest, practice, purpose, and hope. You note that they should be pursued in that order. We have talked about interest. You have mentioned how it is human nature to seek the novel and how we need to learn to substitute nuance for novelty.  Can we go through the four different traits?

Duckworth: We did touch on interest. Substituting nuance for novelty is what experts do and that is why they are never bored. Two weeks ago I took a pasta making class with Marc Vetri who is a master chef in Philadelphia and he was making the dough and milling the flour in front of us. None of us watching him had any idea of the difference between one bowl of flour and the next. He was feeling it with his fingers, running it through the mixer, feeling it again and then putting just a drop of water in, and then feeling it again. That is what experts do. They are sensitive to these nuances and I do think there is a special pleasure in that which is different from the kind of cheap thrill that we all get from watching a cat video or a stupid stunt that someone sends us the YouTube video for.


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Jen Bonnett @ Pink Spring into Ownership

From the handout on my talk on Leadership:

 “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision,

passionately own the vision and relentlessly drive it to completion.”
– Jack Welch

•Create A Vision

 Start with the End in Mind

 Make the Business Work for You, Don’t be a servant to your business

 Create Daily



•Articulate The Vision

 Shout it from the Mountaintop!


•Passionately Own The Vision

 Positive Passion is better than Negative Passion

 Own It!


•Relentlessly Drive it to Completion

Be Relentless

Take Action




"I Have No Idea What I'm Doing"

As entrepreneurs, we are seemingly fearless, blazing new trails, taking on large corporate goliaths. But,we all know that is just the stereotype. We are all plagued with fears, doubt, anxiety over whether we are taking the “right” path for our company, our employees, our shareholders.  

Managing your own mindset, as CEO, is HUGE.  There have been 2 blog posts in a month on this by male CEO’s.

Here is the latest from the CEO of SVPPLY:


Here’s the first one:’s-the-most-difficult-ceo-skill-managing-your-own-psychology/


Strange coincidence, both are written by men named “Ben”.  🙂

GENIUS team won the "Make a Difference" Judges' Award at the FIRST LEGO League World Festival in St. Louis

Hi!  StartupChick’s sponsored the GENIUS team in their quest for World domination!  The Genius team is a team of young women that built and competed in a robotics competition.

Photo of the Team:


Video of the Awards Ceremony:

Putting Women First

Paige Craig, a male angel investor, posted a blog post about “Putting Women First” last week.  What has followed is an interesting discussion.  His post is his own personal exploration of the statement: â€œA pregnant founder / CEO is going to fail her company”.

What is interesting is despite his struggle with this… he MADE the investment.  I, especially, enjoyed Jessica Jackley’s response… she is the pregnant founder. 

She declined to comment for a whole WEEK.  Because, she was too busy running her company to worry about what these small minded people were saying.

There is a lesson there… head down, focus on growing your business and IGNORE the naysayers.



SpringBoard 2011: A venture forum for female led companies. APPLICATIONS OPEN!

Springboard’s Venture Forums are designed to promote and showcase investment-ready, high-growth companies led by women.  And after 10 years of presenting over 400 businesses that have raised over $5B in capital, we’ve figured out the secret to overcoming the hurdles startups face when trying to raise capital: building relationships.

Applications DUE MAY 2ND!!

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