If you could choose to have one outstanding attribute, what would it be? Would you choose intelligence or creativity. Perhaps charisma, self-confidence or emotional intelligence. Maybe even physical attractiveness or extroversion? Come on, think about it, what one would you choose?

While certain traits may be important in certain occupations, research is showing that there is one trait or attribute that is important in all of them. And that trait, shared by leaders in all fields is grit.

True grit is perseverance and the passion passion for long-term goals.

Michael D. Matthews and Dennis R. Kelly in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology have determined that:

  • grit accounted for an average of 4% of the variance in success outcomes, including educational attainment among 2 samples of adults,
  • grade point average among Ivy League undergraduates,
  • retention in 2 classes of United States Military Academy, West Point, cadets, and
  • ranking in the National Spelling Bee.

“Grit did not relate positively to IQ but was highly correlated with Big Five Conscientiousness. Grit nonetheless demonstrated incremental predictive validity of success measures over and beyond IQ and conscientiousness. Collectively, these findings suggest that the achievement of difficult goals entails not only talent but also the sustained and focused application of talent over time.”

So there you have it. It is better to persevere than to be good looking, creative, intelligent etc. So stop frittering away your time reading this blog and get down to work.