Grit is contagious. But put down the vitamin C packets, off-brand medicine and box of tissues, this is something you’ll actually want to catch.
After devouring Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth, a psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, I’ve become hooked on the notion that effort supersedes talent. As Duckworth explains, “Without effort, your talent is nothing more than unmet potential. Without effort, your skill is nothing more than what you could have done but didn't.” Perhaps more important is the conclusion made by Duckworth and her colleagues through extensive research that talent or IQ do not play a factor in success or achieving goals. Then what is the secret to success? According to Duckworth, the real key as to why some people succeed and others don’t is grit. Or in other words, perseverance and passion for long-term goals despite obstacles.
It’s a funny thing when something as seemingly concrete, such as a high IQ, gets outdone by what most people assume is just a personality trait. I’m with Duckworth though; grit can be fostered. So how do we become more gritty individuals? While Duckworth poses a couple of solutions on how to build grit, the most notable for me is the idea that it is infectious.
Simply put, surround yourself with people who hold you to a higher standard than you hold yourself.
Luckily for me, I’m a proud team member of the gritty culture that Muhlenhaupt + Company has cultivated, where grit is as contagious as the occasional cold that makes its way around the office every winter. From forward-thinking designers to savvy wordsmiths, there is nothing more exciting than being surrounded by gritty people who share both passion and commitment. The daily perseverance of my colleagues to improve their skills and talents creates an environment that pushes me to realize my potential.
As Duckworth states, “If you want to be gritty, find a gritty culture and join it…[if] you want the people in your organization to be gritty, create a gritty culture.”