Learn from Enron's failure. Enron had a culture of smarts and short term success.
In her book, Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Angela Duckworth recalled the Enron scandal and bankruptcy. It was one of the nation's largest corporate crimes and it was committed by very smart people, driven by short term success and show off performance. However, all that talent was undergirded with insecurity; they were good at short-term fixes but horrific with long-term success and sustainability. The culture discouraged long-term growth and learning.
We need to be careful we aren't raising our kids to conform to being that kind of adult. If we emphasize talent and smarts, we may be missing everything else.
Like what? The mundanity of excellence. It's the excellence that is the accumulation of many consistent common actions. Greatness is many, many individual feats and each feat is doable. Often times when we see perfection we may not realize how it came about. Rather than simply giving credence to talent and gifting, realize it's much more about consistently doing something over and over again. World-class excellence comes through long-term developed expertise that comes through passion and perseverance.
And passion and perseverance equals grit.
Grit is satisfied with being unsatisfied. It perpetuates the unceasing pursuit of passion. It fosters the ability to learn and get back up from failure.
Duckworth shares 4 elements of grit:
INTEREST: Grit involves passion which begins with interest.
PRACTICE: Next comes the development of daily focus; planning to get better and never becoming complacent. Keeping it up for days to weeks to months to years to achieve mastery.
PURPOSE: This may not be initially clear. But as passion and practice progress, purpose will show up and be integrally connected to the benefit of others.
HOPE: Hope is learned optimism as weaknesses are overcome by the mundane activities of achieving world class excellence in the passion and purpose to which you've given yourself.
I whole heartedly agree with Angela, "Let's get gritty about helping our kids get grittier." Let them struggle. Let them fail. Let them figure it out. Let them experience break throughs. This will require high levels of emotional health and maturity on our part. If we want grittier kids, we will need to centralize on cultivating an environment that supports this kind of long term development.