Why the secret to rising to the top in PR is having grit

Never give up! That’s the lesson I have learnt this week from Dr Angela Lee Duckworth, psychologist and author of Grit. Duckworth claims that the determining factors for success are perseverance, hard work and a drive to improve, or in other words, being in possession of “grit”. She must have plenty of grit herself as her book was acquired by Scribner at the 2014 Frankfurt Book Fair book for a seven-figure sum.

What a relief. You no longer have to worry about your intelligence or innate abilities, all you have to do is put the hours in and keep going. And if anyone knows how to persevere, surely it has to be someone who works in PR? A job that when the going gets tough (such as in a crisis situation), that is when the real work begins.

The bad news is that you can’t just rest on your laurels if you are fortunate enough to be in possession of a fantastic talent for communicating. Charm and erudition are not going to cut it. What does cut it is being hard working and hard wearing.

Life is never simple, so just being gritty isn’t a guarantee of rising to the top. As Duckworth says in the Huffington Post, it is just one factor that will help: “It’s more accurate to consider grit as a determinant (among others) of achievement than of any broad conception of success”.

To find out how gritty I am, I took an online test that measures such things. And hurrah! I am in the top 90th percentile of gritty people, with a score of 4.4 out of 5. So watch this space, in 20 years or so, I may really be somebody.

To measure your own grit, try the quiz here and here is Dr Angela Lee Duckwort recent Ted Talk on the importance of Grit: