Last week we saw a Black man’s life snuffed out, horrifically. And we can’t “unsee” it.
I sat at the water’s edge here in northern Michigan this morning at dawn, reflecting on all that has happened over the course of the past few days. “How can I help?”, I thought to myself. “What can I do or do better? What part can I play in meaningful, positive change?”
The University of Michigan just unveiled an $85 million, 5-year strategic plan laser focused on diversity, equity and inclusion. Following a year of campus-wide engagement, the effort is a massive institutional commitment with all the hallmarks of a sound planning process: ground-up development, broad input, actionable goals, resources to support those goals and accountability.
Effort counts twice. So says MacArthur Fellow and psychology professor Angela Duckworth in her thoughtful book called Grit. Duckworth studies what it takes to be successful and argues that passion and perseverance – not talent alone, or even primarily – are the critical factors in determining success: whether you are a new candidate at West Point, a scholar, a writer, a potter or a CEO.
“When you consider individuals in identical circumstances, what each achieves depends on just two things, talent and effort. Talent – how fast we improve in skill – absolutely matters. But effort factors into the calculation twice, not once. Effort builds skill. At the very same time, effort makes skill productive.” Continue reading →