Getting Grit: A Book Review by Craig Lemasters

Getting Grit: The Evidence-Based Approach to Cultivating Passion, Perseverance and Purpose by Caroline Adams Miller

Caroline Miller uses her book Getting Grit to deepen her thinking as an executive coach and motivational speaker. In her work with CEOs, professional athletes, and public individuals, Miller found a common group of characteristics determinant to their success. Taken together, passionperseverance, and the ability to set long-term goals make up grit: an extremely important asset that drives successful individuals to achieve their goals. Expanding on previous research and her own years in the Positive Psychology field, Miller discovered that there are different types of grit, both positive and negative.

Authentic Grit

Miller describes authentic grit as the most efficient type to cultivate in order to generate success. A person that has authentic grit often has an altruistic attitude with a purpose to “inspire others to flourish emotionally, become better people, take positive risks, and live their best lives.” Nobody can build a victorious life or career by themselves. Nowadays, our own professional/personal growth is linked to our willingness to contribute to the growth of others. Sharing knowledge in a work environment is not only about passing on information, but also making room for exchange and mutual growth.

Grit Gone Bad

On the other hand, the author describes three different varieties of grit that opposes the core principals of being authentic. She calls these  fauxstubborn, and selfie grit. Often, professionals from all different areas see their passion, perseverance, and ability to set long-term goals waylaid by the pursuit of fame, money, and power. The desire to acquire these things drives individuals to take shortcuts and even fake accomplishments in order to obtain public admiration.

Besides defining a broad variety of positive and negative types of grit, Miller’s book guides its readers to identify and develop their own positive gritty traits. The author shares a diversity of tools that have been applied in multiple coaching sessions with CEOs, professional athletes and public figures. Getting Grit is a useful asset for everyone that is willing grow personally and professionally through cultivating authentic grit. Miller defends the idea that everyone is able to not only develop but also modify their grit throughout their lifetimes. With patience, reflection, and concentration, any reader will be able to move through the chapters and make significant changes to their grit.

Wisdom at a Glance

Getting Grit not only provides the tools for building resilience but also counters some of the negative myths about grit. Most significantly that being gritty doesn’t mean going it alone, or succeeding at the expense of others.

The original review can be seen online here.

Caroline Adams Miller

Caroline Adams Miller, MAPP is a pioneer with her ground-breaking work in the areas of goal-setting/accomplishment, grit, happiness and success. Caroline is the author of eight books, including Positively CarolineMy Name is Caroline,  Creating Your Best Life and Getting Grit. Live Happy Magazine named Creating Your Best Life one of the top ten goal-setting books ever published and Getting Grit one of the ten books that will change your life in 2017.  Her new book, Big Goals, is anticipated for release in the fall of 2024.  Caroline has been featured in BBC World NewsThe New York TimesThe Washington Post, USA Today, U.S. News &World Report, ABC, CBS, NBC, NPR and CNN.  She is a graduate of Harvard University and holds a Master’s degree in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.

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