Psychology professor Angela Lee Duckworth has researched successful students, athletes and business managers.
She concludes that talent and intelligence will get you only so far.
The characteristic that separates successful people from the also-rans is, in a word, “grit”.
Grit is tenacious spirit that keeps certain people dedicated to their goal (whether it involves their studies, their projects, their clients, or something else) for the long haul, determined to accomplish what they set out to do.
Grit is working with intensity and stamina over long periods of time to incrementally chip away at some goal.
Prof. Duckworth says schools & companies should recruit people who are not only smart, but also demonstrate “true grit”.
Maybe she’s onto something.
Here’s a TED talk in which Prof. Duckworth summarizes her findings.
If you want more here’s is a link to a longer talk Prof. Duckworth gave recently.