The Quality that Predicts Success


In a much followed TED Talk, Angela Lee Duckworth, a Wharton researcher, outlined studies that forecast performance among West Point cadets, students and teachers in troubled school systems and corporate salespeople. In all these groups, one factor proved a better of predictor of success than talent, IQ, work ethic or social skills. That factor is “grit,” the ability to bounce back and learn from setbacks and disappointment.

Building on that finding, Wharton has created a website with eight questions to help you and the people you work with determine your “grit quotient.”

Steps to build resilience

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This is not the first time that the importance of resilience has been highlighted. Indeed, a previous article pointed to research among successful entrepreneurs in which the ability to bounce back was identified as the single more important factor in their success.

What’s changed is the increasing body of work that identifies specific strategies to increase your resilience and that of the people you work with. Grit means having passion and perseverance for long-term goals, being prepared to work hard for years and treating your goals as a marathon rather than a sprint.

An article in Scientific American profiled research by psychiatrists Stephen Southwick of the Yale School of Medicine and Dennis Charney of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Southwick and Charney define resilience as the ability to constructively harness one’s natural stress response.

Here are four strategies to increase resilience among you and your team:

1. Build stamina and physical capability

Sustained effort requires a healthy diet, sufficient sleep and regular exercise. Every advisor intuitively understands this, but many fail to give sufficient priority to their capacity for effort. Just as you need to be in peak physical condition to enter a marathon race, so your physical condition affects your ability to sustain effort in the face of disappointment.

See full article on The Quality that Predicts Success by Dan Richards, Advisor Perspectives

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