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

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  802 ratings  ·  93 reviews
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 b ...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published September 8th 2015 by Crown Business (first published January 20th 2015)
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Start your review of Grit to Great: How Perseverance, Passion, and Pluck Take You from Ordinary to Extraordinary
Where I got the book: my local library. A Strength Training read.

Grit, say Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval, is all you really need. It’s the great leveler, available to all regardless of age, income, physical ability or IQ.

I started the Strength Training readalong group for writers because I wanted to make various aspects of my life stronger, better able to support the weight of a writing career that really wants to be the boss of everything.

I chose Grit as the first topic because I was abo
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
I received a free advanced copy of this book through Goodreads Firstreads for review. I was actually really excited to read this short little advice guide because of my current situation. I was hoping that it would be full of great tips, helpful advice, and the occasional story of achieving greatness and sustainability to keep my head up and keep pushing through to achieve my goals. That’s not, however, what I got.

This is a short book written by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval, two very succ
Bryce O'Connor
Aug 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
I received this book as an ARC from a First Reads giveaway.

The message is nice. It celebrates perseverance and drive, or "grit" as the book calls it. My main problem is that it doesn't say anything that hasn't been said in a hundred books like it.

It's essentially a series of examples, successful people that failed and got back up. Mixed throughout are stories of how the authors succeeded against all odds. These examples have a self-congratulatory tone, all in the third person, and some of thei
Khalid Sultan  Khalid
Dec 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Unlike many reviews here, I will focus on the takeaways from this book. Two main reasons for this: A) I solidify key terms I learned, and B) help those who did not read the book get a glimpse of what the book is all about (we all have heard that phrase: don’t judge a book by its cover). So if you find a point catching your attention, feel free to grab the book and read it.

Eight key takeaways:

- The difference between a successful person and a less successful is not a lack of strengths, not a lac
Mar 10, 2016 marked it as did-not-finish
I couldn't get past the paragraphs of generalizations about lazy, ungrateful Millennials. ...more
Locs and Lenses
Oct 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I am usually not a fan of non-fiction but I am trying to break out of my genre and I am glad I did. If you are a 70s-80’s kid you will truly appreciate this book. It is very entertaining and the stories told are relatable and interesting. It is written in snippets with anecdotes between chapters. The stories are ones I have never heard about from some of most successful business of our time. I did not realize who these two authors were until they began telling the stories of the marketing campai ...more
Luci Riestra
May 26, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book gets summed up in "work hard and persevere". It has quite some examples, many drawn from their background in the advertising world, that make it light to read and somewhat entertaining, and it covers the topics from many angles, but it does turn into a bit of a no-nonsense list of clichés: work more than the rest, talent is less important than hard work, take risks and leave your comfort zone, take small steps, delay gratification, be flexible and resilient, you are never too old...
Dec 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
Yikes. Aside from the humble-brags, generalizations, and vague stories about people who could've achieved for any number of reasons, this book didn't teach me about how to use grit to reach my goals. It did, however, teach me about which ad campaigns were created by the authors. If your Final Jeopardy question is "Which ad company created the AFLAC duck?", you should bet it all and answer, "What is the Kaplan Thaler Group, Alex." You're welcome. ...more
Lutfiya F
Sep 26, 2017 rated it it was ok
An average self-help book. The stars are for good ideas but the book does not really build engagement.
I. Just. Couldn't. Finish. I kept thinking to myself, "this has to get better, it just HAS to!"...but it didn't. The noticeable issue started with the tale of Melissa and Ariel; if Melissa never told anyone but her husband about Ariel's intellectual deficiency, then HOW did it end up in this book?!? Next was the inspirational story about "Jim" an ad exec (and his talent, intelligence and, ahem, grit), now better known as James Patterson, who has generously provided a glowing blurb on the back of ...more
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing

Book Review: Grit to Great (Thaler and Koval, 2015, Crown Business, ISBN 978-0-8041-3912-0, $19.95)
The subtitle of this book is almost as big as the thin little volume: “How Perseverance, Passion, and Pluck Take You From Ordinary to Extraordinary”.
Written by the chairperson and CEO of Publicis Kaplan Thaler (advertising that brought the world the AFLAC duck and the re-branding of Wendy’s, among other campaigns), this is an easy read.
That doesn’t mean it’s fluff- not at all.
Just easy to digest.
Taaha Muhammad
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was good, in that it conveyed a handful of anecdotes/stories in which people used grit as a means of achieving their success.

The book didn’t really expand on how to be gritty, beyond the superficial advice of “work hard, set goals, be positive”, etc.

It was backed by some research studies, which was great! But more expansion/depth on some of the grit research out there would have been insightful! Also, any good book/essay would argue points by providing counterexamples and tearing the
Lots of upbeat stories and slogans. Impressive. However, after reading one study recently, I'm not entirely buying this. Or at least the part which generally claims that "age is nothing". A study of essay writing through age showed that after a certain point writer's vocabulary becomes poorer, and sentences simpler (alas, not in a snugly Zen way). So try as you may but some merciless limits do exist :( ...more
Heather Martinez
Jan 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great book on perseverance! It takes grit! Grit tells you not to quit! Grit finds a way to succeed when failure is standing at the door. Lot's of stories & full of wisdom in this little book. Definite read for leadership at any level.
Nov 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It just makes sense

Hardwork and dedication never hurt anyone and this book is full of positive affirmation and determination. Perfect read for anyone looking to break through barriers.
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Grit. Grit. Grit.

What a great inspirational and easy read. I am buying a hard copy as the library loaned ebook is not enough.
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading this book. It’s small but very powerful. The authors bring great examples into the book of Grit stories.
Aug 31, 2022 rated it liked it
This book was recommended to me by someone who has climbed from a trailer park to a billionaire status over the course of his life. He is a remarkable person that's lived at every rung of the latter and been able to climb it with relative ease. This, along with a few other books he recommended me, were intended to be steps for me along my mission that has occupied my mind for over a year now and is only becoming more pressing. How much agency do I have over my own success? Can I willfully choose ...more
Vernita Naylor
What comes to mind when you think of grit? Grit is a form of strength, courage, and passion that pushes beyond the norm despite obstacles. Authors Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval give stories and anecdotes of those that have gone through many challenges to continue to run the race that has been set before them. This book is easy to read yet chock full of meaningful information that you can use immediately. By looking at the Table of Contents from The Talent Myth, Lose the Safety Net, Get int ...more
Aug 01, 2018 rated it liked it
“Grit to Great: How Perseverance, Passion, and Pluck Take You from Ordinary to Extraordinary” by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval is a short, quick read that is designed to be a morale booster/pick me up. It focuses on the idea that you need to get back up and try again. Failure is part of life, and when it happens, learn from it and try again.
I had the pleasure of listening to Linda Kaplan Thaler speak about the book during a Gartner Symposium/ITXPO. She is a great public speaker, the proble
Toby Amodeo
Jan 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Grit to Great is a fairly solid argument for the superiority of perseverance and resilience over pure talent or good connections.

The authors argue that having a big dream fleshed out with daily, acheivable goals will breed more passion and inspire grit. Luckily, grit can be learned.

The second key trait they identify in successful people is optimism, which they also argue can be learned. Do you see setbacks as temporary challenges that your actions can overcome?

On the whole, I found the book usef
Jeffrey Bush
Mar 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Passion and perseverance are better than talent and intelligence when it comes to being successful.

Grit is about sweat, not swagger. It is about character, not charisma.

You do not have to be born with grit, you can learn it.

Excellence is not an action but a habit.

The self-esteem movement has not been a success but a flop. We have found creative ways to celebrate mediocrity, but it is not helping anyone.

Failure is how we learn and acquire grit.

Grit can be broken down into four elements:
1. Guts
Mar 08, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: nope
I could not even get through more than a few paragraphs. While I agree that our culture of giving awards for effort instead of achievement and that perseverance and grit are necessary for actually achieving things, I immediately had a bad taste in my mouth probably given to me by the bile in the author's tone describing the generations being brought up this way. Yeah, it may be a problem. But how exactly is it their problem? I couldn't stand the cutting writing. And I've read many other books de ...more
Apr 19, 2019 rated it liked it
“If you want your dreams to become a reality, wake up already.” -Yiddish Proverb

Dreaming of success is counterproductive when one can engage their mind with immediate problems that can be solved one step at a time.

“A handful of patience is worth more than a bushel of brains.” -Dutch Proverbs

“Results intelligence” seems to be what companies need most, as well as the world. After all, nobody should be paid to just be smart. Furthermore, those with the most patience can take on the biggest challeng
JD' D'Souza
Jun 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
Grit is about sweat and not swagger. Grit can be the secret to success.
George Foreman was over weight and about to go bankrupt, when he went back into boxing at 45 and won the title, paid off his debt, developed the George Foreman grill and is now worth $200 million.

The least likely people can exceed expectations, with perseverance, passion and hard work.

Make yourself uncomfortable. Put on your clothes with your eyes closed, say hello to strangers on an elevator, brush your teeth with the oth
Mar 20, 2022 rated it liked it
If you want a quick read with lots of little anecdotes about other people's perseverance, go ahead and read this. NB that Thaler and Koval work in advertising; their style is correspondingly peppy, and their choice in anecdotes reflects their background. But its brevity might make it more useful for someone needing a quick pick-me-up.

If you want a more challenging book with actual research into where grit comes from and more information about how to develop it/foster it in others, read Angela Du
Cliff Chew
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Overall, I think this book is quite readable, and has some very interesting, delightable stories. In terms of actual usable content, I feel that this book covers the basic points, but it will need a lot more grit (pun intended) to really go down and actually implement them into your lives.

Good reminders nonetheless!
Kim Tyo-Dickerson
Full of real-life bios and examples of grit, resilience, & growth mindset, which are interesting until they become repetitive, particularly towards the end which is a bit rushed. I am definitely interested enough to move on to Angela Duckworth's original Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, get the core of growing grit and applications for education. ...more
John Ababseh
May 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Grit is the main argument of the book and how that helped define these wonderful women's lives and careers! I thought the book had great anecdotes that coupled the arguments well. ...more
Nov 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Yeah, I mean, just work hard.
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Linda Kaplan Thaler has been responsible for some of the most touching, relevant and famous advertising campaigns during her 25+ years in the advertising and entertainment business. She is acclaimed within the industry for her innovative and topical approach.

Much of her work is now part of the American pop culture landscape. She has authored and composed campaign jingles that are among the industr

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