Leadership Summit 2017: Angela Duckworth

Angela Duckworth is a professor of psychology at University of Pennsylvania and founder of Character Lab, a nonprofit whose mission is to advance the practice of character development. An advisor to the White House, the World Bank and Fortune 500 CEO’s, Duckworth studies grit and self-control, two attributes critical to success and well-being. Her first book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, debuted in 2016 as a New York Times bestseller.

  • All people are ambitious. People like to be good at what they do and when given a choice they would like to be excellent.

What do high performers have in common?

  • #1 They are hard workers
  • #2 They finish whatever they begin
  • #3 They have difficulty maintaining their focus on projects that take more than a few months to complete
  • #4 They change their interests from year to year
  • The maturity principle: with age and experience qualities and character like grit get better
  • Grit can change with culture and experience
  • We can build grit
  • There is a huge distinction between talent and effort
  • It takes passion and perseverance
  • Grit = Sustained passion and perseverance for especially long term goal
  • Talent x effort = skill
  • Skill x effort = achievement
  • You can say of talented people that they were born to do something, but you can’t say they were born doing something
  • It takes deliberate practice to become excellent
  • Most people live a life of arrested development…they plateau
  • Many people even drop out and quit
  • World class excellence…what is deliberate practice?
  • It beings with setting a goal
  • They focus 100% on it
  • They get feedback and coaching (you can’t get better at anything without feedback)
  • Reflect and refine
  • Why doesn’t everyone do these things? Why don’t more people do more deliberate practice? It’s not that much fun.
  • Everyone has to drop out of something at some point to pursue other opportunities and goals
  • Grit and happiness go hand in hand…people who have grit are usually content with their life as well

How to build Grit:

  • #1 Develop your interests before training your weaknesses
  • #2 Know the science of deliberate practice…can I do a little more deliberate practice
  • #3 Cultivate purpose beyond yourself
  • #4 Adopt a growth mindset
  • Somebody in your life needs to love you so much that they’ll let you quit on a good day but not on a bad day

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