Grit to Great

How Perseverance, Passion, and Pluck Take You from Ordinary to Extraordinary

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In Grit to Great, Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval tackle a topic that is close to their hearts, one that they feel is the real secret to their own success in their careers--and in the careers of so many people they know and have met. And that is the incredible power of grit, perseverance, perspiration, determination, and sheer stick-to-it-tiveness. We are all dazzled by the notion that there are some people who get ahead, who reach the corner office because they are simply gifted, or well-connected, or both. But research shows that we far overvalue talent and intellectual ability in our culture. The fact is, so many people get ahead--even the gifted ones--because they worked incredibly hard, put in the thousands of hours of practice and extra sweat equity, and made their own luck. And Linda and Robin should know--they are two girls from the Bronx who had no special advantages or privileges and rose up through their own hard work and relentless drive to succeed to the top of their highly competitive profession.

In a book illustrated with a cornucopia of stories and the latest research on success, the authors reveal the strategies that helped them, and countless others, succeed at the highest levels in their careers and professions, and in their personal lives. They talk about the guts--the courage--necessary to take on tough challenges and not give up at the first sign of difficulty. They discuss the essential quality of resiliency. Everyone suffers setbacks in their careers and in life. The key, however, is to pick yourself up and bounce back. Drawing on the latest research in positive psychology, they discuss why optimists do better in school, work, and on the playing field--and how to reset that optimistic set point. They talk about industriousness, the notion that Malcolm Gladwell popularized with the 10,000-hour rule in his book Outliers. Creativity theorist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi believes it takes a minimum of 10 years for one's true creative potential to be realized. And the authors explore the concept of tenacity--the quality that allows us to remain focused and avoid distraction in order to get the job done--an increasingly difficult task in today's fragmented, cluttered, high-tech, connected world.

Written in the same short, concise format as The Power of Nice and leavened with the natural humor that characterizes Linda's and Robin's lives--and books--Grit to Great is destined to be the book everyone in business needs.


“You don’t need to be brilliant or incredibly talented to become hugely successful.  But what you do need is to read this book. ‘Grit to Great’ teaches us all how to develop our grit quotient so almost any goal is possible.” – James Patterson, bestselling author

“Grit to Great is an insightful guide to achieving success in work and life, filled with real-life stories, tools and techniques that can help us all live with more passion, perseverance and resilience.”  – Arianna Huffington 

“Grit and tenacity are absolutely essential to success, and that’s why I’m so excited about Linda and Robin’s new book, Grit to Great. Grit is what made America great, and it’s what will make you be the person you truly want to be, in any area where you really want to succeed. I’ve read it and I’m recommending it to all my friends. I know the authors, and they not only wrote the book on grit, they live it.  It’s going to change your life.” – John Maxwell, author of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and other bestsellers

“Looking for a real secret to success? It’s not just who you know. It’s about determination, tenacity, hard work and, above all, grit. Grit to Great by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval combines solid, usable advice with engaging stories to create a near-perfect handbook on how to succeed.” – Keith Ferrazzi, author of the #1 NY Times Bestseller Who’s Got Your Back and Never Eat Alone

“Grit to Great is packed with wisdom and lessons on how to develop the power of perseverance, tenacity and fortitude that ultimately leads to success. The insights here will stay with you long after you finish reading!” —Marshall Goldsmith, author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers Triggers, and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

“Grit to Great, is a fantastic read for anyone, anywhere, who wants to get ahead.” – Kimberly Archer, Managing Director, Washington Office Russell Reynolds Associates – Global Executive Search Firm

“You need GRIT to get great and this book succinctly tells you how to do it. There’s no sugar coating: Thaler and Koval tell it like it is because they’ve used grit to achieve great success themselves.  I recommend it.”— Mark Sanborn, bestselling author of The Fred Factor

 “In ‘Grit to Great,’ Linda and Robin offer the insight, knowledge and life lessons that can help propel you to the next level.  Their determination to succeed has had direct tangible benefits for many iconic brands, including Aflac.  Their ‘grit’ has led to another remarkable book that lays out in straightforward fashion what it truly takes to be successful.”—Dan Amos, Chairman and CEO of Aflac

“Grit to Great reminds us that every day is an opportunity to set new goals and challenge ourselves in different ways. With grit, no matter our age or whether we’ve accomplished prior goals, there are countless reasons to keep moving forward and enormous, often unforeseen rewards to be reaped in the process.”—Nancy Brown, CEO of American Heart Association

“Don’t walk, run to get your copy of ‘Grit to Great’. It’s chock full of good sense, insights and useful advice that can make just about anyone feel they can succeed.”—Diana Aviv, CEO, Feeding America

“Losing weight and staying fit are hard work. ‘Grit to Great’ helps give you the tools to make your goals a reality, and be the best you can be.”—Florine Mark, President & Chairman of the Board of The Weight Watchers Group, Inc.

“Thaler and Koval have written a very valuable book.  Their insights and anecdotes on the importance of hard work, perseverance and character provide timeless lessons that will resonate with their readers – from the senior executive to the summer intern.”—Gail McGovern, President and CEO of The American Red Cross

“In Grit to Great, Linda and Robin have written what is sure to be another bestseller. It’s a simple, well-written, inspiring read that will get you going on your own journey from grit to great.” —Andrea March, Co-Founder Women’s Leadership Exchange

“In Grit to Great, Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval remind us that it takes much more than a diploma or high pedigree to be successful.  It takes equal parts hard work, determination, pluck, and a willingness to confront adversity and failure head-on.  These are qualities that have helped to advance the trajectory of many of this country’s most inspiring leaders, and perhaps no one is more adept at telling their stories than Linda and Robin.  Grit to Great is a celebratory tribute to the great American success story — to those who rose from practically nothing and made it to greatness.” Abraham H. Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League

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