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You Don't Know Grit!

Updated: Dec 1, 2022

What Every Professional Needs to Know About the Science of Talent, Passion and Perseverance.


Greetings, fellow Gritty Professional!


We work in many different businesses and industries. Yet all of us need to dig deep and use our grit every day to achieve the results we’re expected to achieve.


The same is true in our personal lives, where we often have even more difficult challenges to overcome (something I see on a daily basis in my work as a pro bono lawyer).


With my colleague in London, Dr Alexander Fox, we’ve published a series of 3 books on grit. We also run Continuing Professional Development seminars on being a grittier professional.



To get on the list for our next small-group Grit Seminar in Melbourne or another city, email me at pjm@pmaca.com.au.


And, of course, feel free to pick up a copy of our omnibus Grit-Series Seminar Book, though you will get one for free when you attend one of our seminars.


You Don’t Know Grit!


The following series of 7 blog posts focuses on the research of Dr Angela Duckworth, one of the world’s leading psychologists and author of the best-selling book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.


Each post is based on a chapter from our first book on Dr Duckworth’s work, and has its own specific learning objective. Here’s how they line up:


In the next post, Post 1 (Discovering a world full of grit), we’ll look at how you can place Dr Duckworth’s research on grit into the context of your own professional development.


In Post 2 (Talent can be distracting. Deal with it) you’ll discover if you have what Dr Duckworth considers to be an unhealthy interest with talent.


In Post 3 (But be careful not to mythologize talent) you’ll identify some of the many dangers of mythologizing talent for you and for your organisation.


In Post 4 (How important is effort to your success?) you’ll get to critically assess the role of effort and talent in your past and future career achievements.


In Post 5 (You can measure your grit. But why?) you’ll be able to measure your levels of grit, passion and perseverance, and then assess the significance of your results.


In Post 6 (Present yourself as a Reformed Hare) you’ll find out how to avoid being disadvantaged by people’s bias against so-called “strivers”.


And in Post 7 (Think of yourself as a Reformed Hare) you’ll learn how you can leverage your self-belief to become a more effective and more successful professional.


A Different Approach


The format of each of the next 7 posts - like each chapter in our books - is different from what you might expect.


What we’ve done is created an interactive, Socratic dialogue between the author on whose work the post is based, my own in-house team, an expert professional, and then you.


Here’s how it works.


Each post begins with a section setting out a key proposition or propositions drawn from the research of a leading scientist, expert or author. In these posts on grit we focus on the research of Dr Angela Duckworth.


This is followed by a second section where the in-house team at Meisterline Analytics analyses these propositions, concepts and ideas, through the filter of our own expertise as cognitive scientists and professional development specialists.


Then the discussion gets passed to an expert professional. By contributing their personal perspectives as an experienced professional, their section will help you connect the issues being discussed to your own professional development.


These two sections play a type of “Devil’s Advocate” role, by offering different - and sometimes opposing - perspectives to those presented by the original scientist. You might agree with some of these sections and strongly disagree with others. And that’s precisely their purpose, to facilitate more effective learning through the deeper engagement of your critical faculties.


And then it’s your turn to consider the self-reflection questionnaire and respond to what you’ve seen and heard. This is your opportunity to analyse the issues and question the perspectives you’ve been presented. It’s also where you begin applying what you’ve learned to further develop your own professional skills.


That’s the unique interactive, Socratic structure of thesis and anti-thesis that’s repeated throughout each of this series of 7 posts.


Next time we’ll start with our first post, Discovering a World Full of Grit.


Until then, feel free to start sending me your queries and comments to pjm@pmaca.com.au.


Stay Gritty!



About the Author


Dr Peter Macmillan began his legal career in 1992 and ultimately became Head of Competition Law at an international law firm in Hong Kong. Today, Peter is the CEO of Meisterline Analytics, an international pioneer in the science of professional expertise and a leading provider of professional expertise metrics for law firms and their clients. He is also the author of 8 books, including the seminal reference book, Unlocking the Secrets of Legal Genius: Measuring Specialist Legal Expertise Through Think-Aloud Verbal Protocol Analysis, The KUJI Handbook and The 21 Secrets Of Gritty Professionals. Peter has a Master’s Degree in Competition Law and a PhD in Cognitive Science.


In 2022, Peter founded his own unique law firm in Melbourne, which specializes in signature witnessing, document certification and the formal authentication of documents for every legal and official use within Australia and internationally. For more information about the unimaginatively named Peter Macmillan & Associates, please visit pmaca.com.au/about.



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