At the University of Pennsylvania, Angela Lee Duckworth studies intangible concepts such as self-control and grit to determine how they might predict both academic and professional success.
In her late 20s, Angela Lee Duckworth left a demanding job as a management consultant at McKinsey to teach math in public schools in San Francisco, Philadelphia and New York.
After five years of teaching seventh graders, she went back to grad school to complete her Ph.D. in psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is now an assistant professor in the psychology department. Her research subjects include students, West Point cadets, and corporate salespeople, all of whom she studies to determine how "grit" is a better indicator of success than factors such as IQ or family income.
“Grit is sticking with your future — day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years — and working really hard to make that future a reality.”
“Grit is living life like it's a marathon, not a sprint.”
“There are many talented individuals who simply do not follow through on their commitments. In fact, in our data, grit is usually unrelated or even inversely related to measures of talent.”
“We need to take our best ideas, our strongest intuitions, and we need to test them. We need to measure whether we've been successful, and we have to be willing to fail, to be wrong, to start over again with lessons learned.”