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Katie Seidel

ED 501
Book Chat Self-Reflection: Grit by Angela Duckworth
1. How does the book help you to become a leader?
This books serves as guide to tap into your unmet potential. I found
that many aspects of the book directly related to coaching and gave
me more insight into the mindset of student athletes. The book also
discusses the key to achievement, which is a blend of passion and
persistence that Duckworth refers to as grit. Duckworth discusses
the bias of talent and sheds light on the mystery and magic of talent.
The reality is that effort and hard work count twice toward achieving
your goals. With effort we are able to hone and develop our skills.
Duckworth goes on to explain, Without effort, your talent is nothing
more than your unmet potential. Without effort, your skill nothing more
than what you could have done but didnt. With effort, talent becomes
skills and, at the very same time, effort makes skill productive
(Duckworth p. 51). An individual may have tremendous potential but it
is what we do with that potential that truly separates us. Through effort
and deliberate practice we are able to tap into our unmet practice.
2. What are the three most important messages of the book?
For me the three most important messages of the book are, effort
counts twice, regardless of IQ and circumstance grit can be learned,
and grit can help you achieve your full potential. Also, I feel that the
Hard Thing Rule can be applied across various fields in your personal
and professional life.
3. What are two arguments that you disagree with in the book?
Overall, I agreed with most the philosophies and conclusions in Grit
however, I do see some issues with the grit. According to Duckworth it
is very easy to fake Grit. The scale is a reflection of how you see
yourself so it can change over time. But I do not think the scale is
entirely reliable.
4. Is the book a contribution to the field or discipline?
The book is a contribution to the field of leadership studies and
psychology. Duckworth consults businessmen, athletes, fellow
psychologists and researchers to understand the phenomenon grit.
5. Does the book relate to a current debate or trend in the field and if
so, how?
This book, specifically, the chapter Distracted by talent relates to the
idea of the incomplete leader as discussed in Harvard Business
Reviews Best 10 on Leadership. Hard work, effort and talent together

can accomplish so much more than just talent alone. It is equally

important that we embrace our weaknesses and our strengths. By
doing so we are able to build relationships by asking others their
opinions, what they care about, and how they interpret things.
6. What is the theoretical lineage (or school of thought) out of which
the book rises?
Grit existing across a variety of fields. It can be seen in business,
athletics, and teaching. The most important aspect is that everyone
has grit but it is tapping into that Grit and using it to help achieve
7. How did you benefit from reading this book?
Parts of this book truly resonated with me. As mentioned before this
books serves as guide to tap into your unmet potential. The chapters that I
found the most beneficial were Distracted by talent, Effort counts twice, and
Culture of Grit. I found that these chapters directly related to coaching and
have provided insight into becoming a successful coach and educational
As a coach I find that student-athletes are often distracted by talent.
They automatically assume that talent is God given rather than developed
through effort. This backwards logic can lead to self-doubt and laziness. It is
important as a coaching staff to encourage our athletes to give their full
effort. We stress the importance of effort and attitude every day as athletes
are in direct control of their attitude and effort. The chapter Effort counts
twice was my favorite chapter and discussed that skill and talent rely on
This philosophy also relates to our recruiting philosophy. An athlete can
have all the talent in the world but if they are lazy and do not have a good
attitude they will not positively contribute to the team. Along with that, we
make it a priority to celebrate when our athletes put forth great effort. We
have two awards that our student athletes can earn. They are the work boot
award the hard hat award. The work boot award is awarded by the coaching
staff to a student athlete who we feel demonstrated hard work and exceled
in practice. The hard hat is awarded by the team to an athlete who they felt
demonstrated hard work and who also exceled in practice. We feel that this
recognizes the athletes who are not necessarily the most talented but still
contribute to the team. These awards create a sense of team and provide a
sense of achievement. The chapter Culture of grit touches on establishing an
organizational culture and the importance of establishing culture. Culture

shapes our values, personalities, and ultimately they type of people we

become. Establishing a culture helps forge bonds within your organization
and also helps establish expectations and norms within an organization. We
have found that establishing a culture is one of the hardest parts of coaching
but also one of the most important.