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Grit to Great Summary

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Grit to Great SummaryHow Perseverance, Passion, and Pluck Take You from Ordinary to Extraordinary

Contrary to popular belief, talent is never enough – you need so much more to become extraordinary. Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval would know. And we have a look at their 3P recipe (perseverance, passion, and pluck) in “Grit to Great.”

About Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval

Linda Kaplan ThalerLinda Kaplan Thaler is an American advertiser and motivational speaker, responsible for some of the most famous advertising campaigns in U.S. history, such as the Aflac duck and the Clariol Herbal Essence “Yes, Yes, Yes” campaign.

Robin KovalRobin Koval is the CEO of Truth Initiative, a tobacco control organization aiming to create a tobacco-free culture. She has co-founded with Thaler the Kaplan Thaler Group and has co-authored with her four bestselling books, including “The Power of Nice.”

“Grit to Great Summary”

Remember Angela Duckworth’s story?

If not, here it is – in three sentences. As a child, she was often told off by her father for lacking his genius. However, she became a respected and oft-quoted scientist. And to explain how she got from point A to point B, she introduced to the world the concept of “grit”.

In short – it’s power + perseverance.

In “Grit to Great,” Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval add another ingredient: pluck. And fully back Duckworth’s take on things with numerous inspirational stories not unlike hers and theirs.

Take, for example, Thaler and Koval’s attempt to land a new client. And not just any client: we’re talking about the fast food giant, Wendy’s. When they daydreamed about it – nothing happened. When they started working as if they had no other option – they got the contract.

And, yes – we’re talking about 80-hour workweeks!

However, grit is not just about hard work. It’s also about what to do if all that hard work amounts to nothing.

And that’s where noted TED speaker Jia Jiang can help you. He realized that if you want to grow, you must overcome the fear of rejection. So, he started doing one “rejectable” thing a day (like ordering a burger refill or a quarter of a shrimp) for one hundred days!

The results?

He didn’t merely conquered his fear of rejection, but he also learned that asking what you want may also get you exactly that.

Grit is also a lot about passion. Without it, Van Gogh would have stopped painting long before he committed suicide: after all, he did manage to sell one painting only during his whole life.

His success came a bit late, but his story should teach you that it’s never the end. And, moreover, that you can always try once again.

If people gave up after their first attempts, we wouldn’t have had Michael Jordan or Oprah Winfrey. The former didn’t make it to his high school basketball team at first, and the latter was told by her boss that she wasn’t “made for TV.”

And you know what Jordan and Winfrey did?

They just buckled in with a bit of a grin – and they did it!

Key Lessons from “Grit to Great”

1.      Persevere – Longer Than the Others
2.      Be Passionate About What You’re Doing
3.      Exercise Your Pluck to Deal with the Inevitable Hardships

Persevere – Longer Than the Others

Talent is only a small part of the success equation. Perseverance is a much bigger one.


Because, as you go along your way, you’ll see that there are many talented people around. However, only few of them succeed. Interestingly enough, they are not the most talented – but the ones who persevere the longest.

Be among them.

Be Passionate About What You’re Doing

If Van Gogh didn’t have passion, he would have probably stopped painting not long after embarking on such a career. Because, for longer parts of his life, there was nothing there to motivate him but his inherent passion.

In other words, it’s fairly pointless to expect to be gritty in something you’re not passionate about. But, then again, it’s pointless to live your life that way, to start with.

Exercise Your Pluck to Deal with the Inevitable Hardships

No matter what you do, sooner or later, you will always encounter upon some problems. That’s where the grit-to-great philosophy really works wonders. Because, talented people are usually talented in one area and are unable to overcome problems coming from a different one.

Gritty people are courageous. And their determination makes up for whatever else is there they may be lacking.

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“Grit to Great” Quotes

Working just a little harder than someone else who might be just as talented (or even a bit more) is what will win the day. Click To Tweet I’m not the smartest guy, but I can outwork you. It’s the one thing I can control. Click To Tweet Failure is how we learn—it’s how we develop and acquire grit. Click To Tweet When confidence becomes a muscle memory, panic is replaced by peak performance. Click To Tweet The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will. Click To Tweet

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