Grit to Great

“Grit is a somewhat old-fashioned term, resurrected from a previous century. But it is enjoying a remarkable renaissance these days. Why? Because it seems as if we are getting soft. Grit is about sweat not swagger. Character, not charisma. Grit has been equated more with methodological stick-to-itiveness and survival than any secret ingredient to success. Which is too bad, because for so many, grit is the secret to success.” – Grit to Great


As an educator, I often see how grit (or undeniable tenacity and fortitude) can transform a child from an ordinary student to a dedicated academic. Changes in attitude, mentality, and how one approaches problem solving are all neatly wrapped up in this one word. While it is a bit simplistic to suggest that something like grit is the only key to being successful in life, the authors of Grit to Great, Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval, make a compelling case for grit suggesting that everyone from Steve Jobs to Aristotle recognized (and utilized) the power of grit.

While we live in a society obsessed with rewarding the many and ignoring the truly great accomplishments of the few, the authors suggest that by examining grit, hard work, perseverance, and determination, it is possible to fully understand how adopting this attitude can lead to success (and stamina) in life, and a healthier outlook. This book is  compelling read and immediately made me think of how this insight can help in my classroom. The approachable, friendly tone makes this book an easy read, and the engaging anecdotes make it immediately relatable. Grit to Great is a must for anyone hoping to better understand success, perseverance, or grit, and it implications in today’s world.


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