A Leadership WORD for You – Grit

28 Jun 2015 6:54 PM | Roger Kitchen Jr

What comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘Grit’? Hopefully it is not a piece of sand or images of sand paper. How about perseverance, resilience, focus, and/or tough? Great leaders have these characteristics; an unbridled, if not obsession, to complete tasks, goals, and plans no matter what the setback or obstacle. The concept of Grit has been around since the early 1800s and credited to William James for furthering the research in 1907 associated with this personality trait.

 

Angela Duckworth, an assistant psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, has spent numerous years researching this concept and developed a Grit Assessment. Duckworth defines Grit as, “sticking with things over the very long term until you master them." In a paper, she writes that "the gritty individual approaches achievement as a marathon; his or her advantage is stamina."

 

Duckworth's research suggests that when it comes to high achievement, grit may be as essential as intelligence. That's a significant finding because for a long time, intelligence was considered the key to success.

 

Take her Grit Assessment:

12- Item Grit Scale

 

Directions for taking the Grit Scale: Please respond to the following 12 items. Be honest – there are no right or wrong answers!

 

1. I have overcome setbacks to conquer an important challenge.

q Very much like me

q Mostly like me

q Somewhat like me

q Not much like me

q Not like me at all

 

 

2. New ideas and projects sometimes distract me from previous ones.*

q Very much like me

q Mostly like me

q Somewhat like me

q Not much like me

q Not like me at all

 

 

3. My interests change from year to year.*

q Very much like me

q Mostly like me

q Somewhat like me

q Not much like me

q Not like me at all

 

 

4. Setbacks don’t discourage me.

q Very much like me

q Mostly like me

q Somewhat like me

q Not much like me

q Not like me at all

 

 

5. I have been obsessed with a certain idea or project for a short time but later lost interest.*

q Very much like me

q Mostly like me

q Somewhat like me

q Not much like me

q Not like me at all

 

 

6. I am a hard worker.

q Very much like me

q Mostly like me

q Somewhat like me

q Not much like me

q Not like me at all

 

 

7. I often set a goal but later choose to pursue a different one.*

q Very much like me

q Mostly like me

q Somewhat like me

q Not much like me

q Not like me at all

 

 

8. I have difficulty maintaining my focus on projects that take more than a few months to complete.*

q Very much like me

q Mostly like me

q Somewhat like me

q Not much like me

q Not like me at all

 

 

9. I finish whatever I begin.

q Very much like me

q Mostly like me

q Somewhat like me

q Not much like me

q Not like me at all

 

 

10. I have achieved a goal that took years of work.

q Very much like me

q Mostly like me

q Somewhat like me

q Not much like me

q Not like me at all

 

 

11. I become interested in new pursuits every few months.*

q Very much like me

q Mostly like me

q Somewhat like me

q Not much like me

q Not like me at all

 

 

12. I am diligent.

q Very much like me

q Mostly like me

q Somewhat like me

q Not much like me

q Not like me at all

 

 

Scoring:

1. For questions 1, 4, 6, 9, 10 and 12 assign the following points:

5 = Very much like me

4 = Mostly like me

3 = Somewhat like me

2 = Not much like me

1 = Not like me at all

2. For questions 2, 3, 5, 7, 8 and 11 assign the following points:

 

 

1 = Very much like me

2 = Mostly like me

3 = Somewhat like me

4 = Not much like me

5 = Not like me at all

Add up all the points and divide by 12. The maximum score on this scale is 5 (extremely gritty), and the lowest scale on this scale is 1 (not at all gritty).

 

 

Duckworth, A.L., Peterson, C., Matthews, M.D., & Kelly, D.R. (2007). Grit: Perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 9, 1087-1101

 

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