Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance has a hopeful message for all of us non-geniuses: it turns out that (sustained) effort is what makes successful people successful, and furthermore that deploying sustained effort is something that we can learn, and teach. Yay!
And curiously, although I embrace its ideas and their consequences , I did not like the book. Why? Part of it is a certain cheesiness familiar to anyone who has read business books. The story is a little too slick, a little too perfect. There’s not a single anecdote in which someone tries really hard and just, you know, fails. And the author makes it a point to interview famous people, so it’s a little hard to believe that just regular folks can benefit too. The other reason for my unease are the personal anecdotes. They are a little too self-congratulary, even as they keep harping on the “I’m not a genius” theme. They made me feel a little inept, not quite good enough.
There you have it, interesting and certainly popular ideas, but unpleasant book.